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Highly decorated U.S. Marine killed in Australian aircraft crash was a Colorado native

One of the three U.S. Marines killed in an aircraft training exercise in Australia Sunday was a Colorado native.

A V-22B Osprey with 23 Marines on board crashed in tropical forest on Melville Island during a drill with members of the Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor militaries.

U.S. Marine Corps Major Tobin J. Lewis, 37, was one of three people who died in the crash. The other two individuals were 29-year-old Osprey pilot Capt. Eleanor V. Beau, of Illinois, and 21-year-old Cpl. Spencer R. Collart, of Virginia.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of three respected and beloved members of the MRF-D family,” Col. Brendan Sullivan, commanding officer of MRF-D, said in a news release from Marine Rotational Force-Darwin. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and with all involved.”

Lewis was born and raised in Conifer. He studied aviation at Liberty University before he joined the U.S. Marines in August 2008. He was then promoted to the rank of major in October of 2018.

Lewis received two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

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