Illinois Pilot Among 3 Marines Killed in Tragic Osprey Crash Down Under


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BELLEVILLE, IL — The city of Belleville is in mourning as it remembers Capt. Eleanor V. LeBeau, a 29-year-old Osprey Marine pilot from the area, who lost her life alongside two fellow Marines during a training exercise in Australia. 

The crash occurred during routine maneuvers in a tropical forest on Melville Island. Capt. LeBeau, Maj. Tobin J. Lewis, and Corp. Spencer Collart were tragically killed.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of three respected and beloved members of the MRF-D family,” said Col Brendan Sullivan, commanding officer of MRF-D. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and with all involved. At present, we remain focused on required support to the ongoing recovery and investigative efforts.”

A graduate of Althoff Catholic High School and a Marine since 2018, Capt. LeBeau’s dedication to her country shone through her service as an Osprey pilot. A 2016 graduate of Murray State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science, LeBeau joined the Marine Corps after earning her degree. 

“Capt. LeBeau served her country with distinction and brought great pride to Murray State University. She was an active member of our campus community and will be greatly missed by her many friends and family members,” said Dr. Bob Jackson, ’85, President of Murray State University.

Marine Rotational Force – Darwin confirmed the incident, naming the fallen Marines and detailing their service records. The crash left three Marines hospitalized and 17 others with minor injuries.


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