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All six crewmembers died

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 24, 2008) – The United States Air Force has named the six crew of a B-52 bomber which crashed off Guam this week.

They were the aircraft commander, Major Christopher Cooper, the co-pilot Captain Michael Dodson, First Lieutenant Robert Gerren, Flight surgeon Colonel George Martin, and navigators First Lieutenant Joshua Shepherd and Major Brent Williams.

Just two bodies, those of Major Cooper and Major Williams, have so far been recovered.

Brigadier General Doug Owens, the Commander of 36th Wing at Guam’s Anderson Air Force Base, says losing the bomber crew has been a tragedy felt by everyone here and across the Air Force.

General Owens says the search has been a massive cooperative effort with the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Guam Fire and Rescue and Police Department covering a 7,000-square mile area.

The B-52H Stratofortress was part of the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed to Guam as part of the US’s continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific.

A board of officers is investigating the accident.

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