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Two Marine Corps Aircraft Crash Off Japan, Fate Of Those Onboard Unknown

Two Marine Corps Aircraft Crash Off Japan, Fate Of Those Onboard Unknown

The Marine Corps has punished two aviators who flew their aircraft deliberately to draw a giant penis in the skies over California's Salton Sea.

The crew member was being assessed by doctors, the Marine statement said, adding that "the search and rescue operations continue for the remaining six".

Search and rescue efforts were under way off Japan after two US Marine Corps aircraft crashed in a still-unexplained mishap, leaving seven US military personnel missing, US officials said.

The planes took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan and were "conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred", the statement said.

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The planes involved were an F-18 fighter and a C-130 tanker, the official said.

The aircraft had taken off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan at around 2am local time.

The military did not release the circumstances of the crash, saying the accident was still under investigation. Japanese search and rescue aircraft were immediately deployed and rescued at least one Marine.

A total of seven personnel were believed to be on board the two aircraft, according to ABC News' Elizabeth McLaughlin.