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Marines Identify Pilot Killed In Crash At Miramar Air Base


U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Andrew Mettler, an F/A-18 pilot, holds his son at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, Calif., on March 15, 2019, following a six-month Unit Deployment Program in Japan.

SAN DIEGO – The Marine Corps pilot who was killed in a combat jet crash near a San Diego base during a training flight on Thursday has been identified by the U.S. military.

Maj. Andrew Mettler was at the controls of an F/A-18D Hornet when the aircraft went down at 11:54 p.m. near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Following the incident, search and rescue teams located and recovered Mettler’s body from the crash site. The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing. Maj. Mettler, known by the call sign “Simple Jack,” was from Georgia and was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina. He joined the service in 2007 and had attained a leadership role within his squadron, the Fighting Bengals, at the time of his unfortunate demise.

“Mettler’s decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with four bronze stars in lieu of 5th award,” according to the Marine Corps.


“I had the great honor of flying in an F/A-18D with Simple Jack and will always remember his skill piloting the Hornet and his wry smile,” Maj. Gen. Scott Benedict said.

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