Sergeant’s body from U.S. Osprey crash off coast of Japan returned home

A U.S. Air Force staff sergeant from Massachusetts, Jacob “Jake” Galliher, who was one of the eight service members lost in a CV-22 Osprey crash off the coast of Japan, has had his remains returned home. The 24-year-old’s body arrived at the Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee on Friday and was transported to a funeral home in Pittsfield, his hometown.

Officials stated that members of the Pittsfield police and fire departments, the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, Massachusetts State Police and the Dalton American Legion Riders accompanied his body in a procession to the funeral home.

The crash of the Osprey occurred on November 29 during a training mission just off Yakushima Island in southwestern Japan while en route to Okinawa. Galliher’s remains were the first to be found. The discovery of the seventh crew member’s remains was made a week later.

Galliher’s family issued a statement on December 2 expressing their mourning and requesting privacy and prayers for his wife, two children, and other family members. They described Jacob as an incredible son, brother, husband, father, and friend to many, highlighting how he touched and improved the lives of countless people in Pittsfield, the region, and everywhere he served.

A preliminary investigation into the crash showed that the U.S. military grounded all its Osprey V-22 aircraft a week later, as it indicated a potential mechanical issue rather than human error. The Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter but can rotate its propellers forward and fly much faster, making it similar to an airplane.

The crash brought a spotlight on the safety of the Osprey, which has been involved in several fatal accidents despite its relatively short time in service. Japan responded to the crash by grounding its fleet of 14 Ospreys.

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