DANVILLE — People are being asked to gather tonight to honor the men killed when their landing craft sank off the Southern California coast during a training exercise last week.
The gathering will be at 7:45 p.m. at the American Legion Post 210, in the grassy area to the south of the Legion.
People may bring flags or candles to honor the servicemen who died. There will be prayers, Taps and ringing of bells for each victim.
Organizer is Rochelle Botkin Edwards of Alvin, whose son is in the same unit, but he wasn’t injured. A Veedersburg, Ind., man, Dallas Truxal, was injured.
On July 30, an amphibious assault vehicle sank with 15 Marines and one Navy sailor aboard. Eight Marines were rescued, but one later died and two are in critical condition. The other bodies have been recovered.
The 26-ton, tank-like craft took on water and quickly sank in hundreds of feet of water — too deep for divers — making it difficult to reach.
All of the Marines aboard were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at nearby Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego. They ranged in age from 19 to early 30s and all were wearing combat gear, including body armor and flotation vests, according to Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
The craft was one of 13 amphibious assault vehicles that had just completed an exercise. It was heading back to a Navy ship when it began taking on water about a half-mile from the Navy-owned island off San Diego.