Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 4, 2020

Service members pictured in this post died in 2015, not in July 2020

If Your Time is short

  • Eight Marines and one Navy sailor were found or presumed dead after a training exercise on July 30, 2020.
     
  • In 2015, seven Marines were killed during a different training exercise. These are the men pictured in the Facebook post.
 

On July 30, eight Marines and one Navy sailor were killed during a routine training exercise off the coast of Southern California when a Marine landing craft sank. 

Only one of the service members’ bodies was recovered from the tragic scene: That of Lance Cpl. Guillermo Perez of New Braunfels, Tex. Presumed dead are Pfc. Bryan Baltierra, Lance Cpl. Marco Barranco, Pfc. Evan Bath, Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, Cpl. Wesley Rodd, Lance Cpl. Chase Sweetwood and Cpl. Cesar Villanueva. 

On Aug. 1, however, a Facebook post featuring the photos of seven different Marines started circulating online. 

"7 Marines killed in training exercise yesterday," the post says. 

Featured Fact-check

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

The Marines in the photos were killed in a helicopter crash, but not on July 31. They died in 2015 during a training mission in Florida when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in dense fog. Four National Guard soldiers were also killed.

Though there was a more recent fatal training exercise involving Marines, this Facebook post misuses the images of and deaths of seven men who perished five years ago.

We rate this post Mostly False.

 

Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

Service members pictured in this post died in 2015, not in July 2020

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up