Marine Staff Sgt. Robert H. Cox killed in a fatal air crash returned to Ventura

Some were not familiar with Cox, but all wanted to show their support.

Photo and article by Richard Lieberman

Staff Sgt. Robert Cox killed in a Marine Corps transport aircraft accident in Mississippi, returned home Sunday evening July 23. Cox was escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders mustering 100 plus motorcyclists. The Patriot Guard Riders are a volunteer group that escorts and serves as an honor guard to service members and first responders killed in the line of duty.

The FBI continues to investigate the deaths of 16 Marines and one Navy Corpsman who were killed when their U.S. military plane spiraled out of the sky and into a Mississippi field.

A KC-130, used as a refueling tanker, “experienced a mishap” when it corkscrewed into a soybean field about 4 p.m. at a location around 85 miles north of Jackson, the Marine Corps said. The aircraft’s debris scattered in a radius of nearly 5 miles. The Marine Corps said the plane originated from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina and it was unclear what caused the crash.

The motorcade bringing Cox’s body home started Sunday evening July 23 at Los Angeles International Airport. His remains escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders, and officers from the Santa Paula Police Department where he lived. Ventura County Firefighters lined up on freeway overpasses paying their respect for the deceased marine.

Cox’s remains were met by members of Cox’s family and 50 or more supporters lining the route. Many displaying America flags and some displaying Marine Corps flags.

Some were not familiar with Cox, but all wanted to show their support and pay respects to the family. Todd and Lori Walker said, “We are here to show our support for him and his family” Many of the supporters were veterans, but not all, several non- military supporters were there to support as well. President Donald Trump weighed in via Twitter saying “Marine plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!”

The casket of Staff Sgt. Cox was carried into the Ted Mayr Funeral Home in Ventura after arriving from Los Angeles International Airport. A contingent of Marine honor guards escorted the body, after a brief ceremony.

Cox was born in Ventura and attended school in Fillmore, Ventura and Thousand Oaks. He enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was a senior in high school. Deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. While deployed Cox earned awards for service, including Combat Action Ribbon, and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

A memorial service for Cox was held on Saturday, July 29 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 3501 Loma Vista Road. A funeral service followed the memorial service at Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery.

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