Marines confirm Florala man among missing; search continues in Hawaii

Published 12:14 am Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed over the weekend that a Florala man is among the 12 Marines missing off the coast of Hawaii after two helicopters crashed Thursday night.


Sgt. William Josh Turner, 25, a native of Florala, is among the missing soldiers. A second Alabamian, Capt. Steven R. Torbert, 29, of Florence, also is missing.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said Monday afternoon that three life rafts, some of which were inflated, have been recovered. The Coast Guard is leading the search, and is assisted by the Marines and other rescue personnel.

The spokeswoman said the search is still for survivors.

The transport helicopters were part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Known as Super Stallions, they are the U.S. military’s largest helicopter, capable of carrying a light armored vehicle, 16 tons of cargo or a team of combat-equipped Marines, according to a Marine Corps website.

Turner is a 2009 graduate of Florala High School, and has a number of family members still living in the area. They have declined to be interviewed, but family friends say they are in Hawaii, where Turner and his wife, Elizabeth, are stationed.

Josh Turner’s social media page says the couple married on April 11, 2015.

Family members include his father, Jerry Turner of Florala; mom, Louise Walker of Opp; sister and brother-in-law, Christy and David Wise of Kinston; and sister, Aimee Goodson of Opp.

The other missing crew members are:

Maj. Shawn M. Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas.

Capt. Brian T. Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia.

Capt. Kevin T. Roche, 30, St. Louis.

Sgt. Dillon J. Semolina, 24, Chaska, Minnesota.

Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania.

Sgt. Jeffrey A. Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina.

Cpl. Matthew R. Drown, 23, Spring, Texas.

Cpl. Thomas J. Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida.

Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts.

Lance Cpl. Ty L. Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon.