Tributes paid to Irish-American marine killed in Mississippi crash

Son of Irish immigrants was awarded Marine of the Year distinction in 2013

Tributes have been paid to an Irish-American marine who was one of 16 US military personnel killed when the aircraft they were travelling in crashed in Mississippi last week.

Owen Lennon (26) was one of the youngest flight engineers in the US Marine Corps, having risen from the rank of private to sergeant over the course of a few years.

Mr Lennon was awarded the honour of Marine of the Year in 2013 and had a KC-130T aircraft named after him to mark his achievements.

He went from studying criminal justice at the University of New Haven to joining the ranks of the US's elite military organisation, and saw action in Afghanistan as well as a number of other locations around the world.


Although born and raised in New York State, Mr Lennon and his family have strong ties to Ireland. He is survived by his parents Owen snr and Rosemarie, who are both from north Dublin; his two older sisters, Kelly and Rachel; and his partner, Jenn.

In a statement released by family members over the weekend, he was described as a “fine young man with an unmistakable presence” who took great pride in being a marine.

His funeral is due to take place in New York state in the coming days, and members of Mr Lennon’s extended family from Ireland will be in attendance .

Initial investigations into last Monday’s crash in which the 16 soldiers died have pointed to a mechanical failure mid-flight.

It was the worst aviation disaster to befall the US Marine Corps in more than a decade.