Hawthorne explosion results in removal of three Marine officers
Three Marine officers, including a battalion commander, were removed from their positions on Wednesday as a result of a March 18 training accident in Hawthorne that killed seven Marines and wounded eight other service members, according to a report published in the Marine Corps Times.
Lt. Col. Andrew McNulty, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was dismissed along with two subordinates, Capt. Kelby Breivogel, commander of the battalion’s Alpha Company, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Douglas Derring, the battalion’s infantry weapons officer. The decision was made by Brig. Gen. James Lukeman, commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, the battalion’s parent command, spokesman 1st Lt. Peter Koerner told the publication. All three men will remain in the Marine Corps.
The cause of the mortar malfunction that killed seven Marines and injured eight other service members in Hawthorne remains under investigation. Until the investigation is complete, use of the mortar system involved in the incident has been suspended.
The First Battalion, Ninth Marine Regiment, held a private memorial service earlier today at Camp Lejeune, N.C., for the seven Marines killed in the training.
The service was attended by the members of the unit and families of the deceased.
The names of the fallen Marines are Pfc. Joshua M. Martino, 19, of Clearfield, Pa.; Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II, 20, of Polk City, Fla.; Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr., 23, of Fairfield, Conn.; Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Taylor, 21, of Marietta, Ohio; Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, of Hickory, N.C.; Lance Cpl. William T. Wild IV, 21, of Anne Arundel, Md.; and Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda, 26, of Madison, Ill.
The names of the injured are Pfc. James P. Davies, Pfc. Trent M. Martin, Lance Cpl. Sean J. Burke, Lance Cpl. Douglas L. Hand II, Lance Cpl. Myles E. Harris, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ian S. McClanahan, Sgt. Caleb W. Patton, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan P. West.