From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Jeffrey Tuset '80

Date of birth: June 19, 1958

Date of death: May 6, 1985

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1980 Lucky Bag:


From the 1980 Lucky Bag.

From The Los Angeles Times on May 11, 1985:

In a memorial service Friday at Tustin Marine Corps Air Station, about 900 mourners gathered to pay tribute to 17 Marines who were killed in a helicopter crash in the ocean near Japan on Monday. Eleven of those men were assigned to the Tustin base.

"Many good Marines were lost. Not only were they Marines, they were our brothers . . . all of them sons, fathers, brothers, husbands. All of them brothers in arms, all of them Marines," said Col. David V. Shuter, commanding officer of the MAG-16 (Marine Aircraft Group).

The CH-53D Sea Stallion was one of two helicopters returning to the Marine Corp Air Station in Futenma, Japan, when it plunged into the sea. Both crews were returning from an air show and open house at Iwakuni, another American base, said Maj. Anthony Rothfork, a spokesman at Marine headquarters in Washington, D. C.

Rothfork said all 17 crew members are presumed dead. An investigation into the cause of the crash will take several months, he said.

According to Rothfork, it was the only crash of a Sea Stallion helicopter so far this year. In 1984, four Marines were lost and presumed dead after a similar model helicopter crashed 11 miles southeast of San Clemente Island.

In his homily Friday, Navy Cmdr. Robert B. Needham, chaplain for MAG-16, spoke of the promise of resurrection.

"From that premise--that we have a trustworthy God who speaks the truth, who cannot lie--first, we are not to be troubled. God has prepared a place for his children in heaven. If we say there is no resurrection, then we must deny Christ's resurrection and the biblical record," he said.

"Because of that, our labor is not in vain, and as Col. Shuter said, they did not die in vain. If we look at these men and only remember them in our sorrow, we will have missed the point. We need to remember . . . that God has given a lively hope to those who trust him, and hence we shall see them again. We do not have to despair. And that is comfort that lasts, that is comfort that heals," he said.

Names of Men Lost

The names of the lost Marines who were based in Tustin: Pfc. Thomas J. Agnew Jr., 21, of Villanova, Pa.; Cpl. Stephen H. Blates, 23, of Chicago; Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Bunn, 24, of Phoenix; Lance Cpl. Robert E. Hughes III, 21, of Chicago; Cpl. Robert J. Murray, 24, of Ferndale, Mich.; Capt. James R. Reese, 27, of Bell Mawr, N. J.; Cpl. Paul M. Salcedo, 25, of Cherokee, N. C.; Capt. Donald E. Sellers, 28, of Inglewood, Calif.; Sgt. Daryl S. Thom, 29, Everson, Wash.; Cpl. Thomas S. Tulenko, 25, of Springfield, Va. and Capt. Jeffrey H. Tuset, 27, of St. Paul, Minn.

The Marines who were based at Okinawa: Sgt. Edward Eddie, 29, of Cousins, N. M.; 1st Sgt. Freddie L. Jones, 36, of Rienzi, Miss.; Sgt. James M. Lizana, 26, of Pass Christian, Miss.; Staff Sgt. Paul M. Mello, 31, of Somerset, Mass.; Master Sgt. John N. Gruber Jr., 39, of Aptos, Calif. and Sgt. Richard A. Piper, 27, of St. Louis.

From the Star Tribune on May 8, 1985:

"He enjoyed life very much,' said Nina Tuset, his mother. "He and his wife had just finished taking diving lessons In Japan. He liked to fish and he liked to hunt. He was just an all-round-type guy."

.... The Marine Corps said the crash apparently was due to mechanical failure. Maj Tony Rothfork, a Marine Corps spokesman in Washington, said the crew aboard another helicopter saw the rotor blade on Tuset’s helicopter turn slower and slower and stop as the aircraft entered the water. No bodies were recovered and the search has been called off, he said.

.... "He was a good student and a member of the National Honor Society and on the baseball team," said James Rainbow, principal at Coon Rapids High School. .... Tuset was a math major at the academy and graduated in 1980 in the top half of his class. He was commissioned in the Marines.

He chose the Marine Corps rather than the Navy because he wanted to get Into the flying program and there were greater flying opportunities in the Marines at that time, his mother said. "His father was in the Marine Corps and that helped," she said.

Tuset went to officers training school In Quantico, Va, and then took his flight training in Pensacola, Fla. He was married in April 1982.

He was a member of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462. Jeff was survived by his wife, Etta Mae. (From November 1985 issue of Shipmate.) He was also survived by his parents, John and Nina, and his siblings John and Julie.

There is a memorial marker for Jeffrey in the Barrancas National Cemetery.

Class of 1980

Jeffrey is one of 11 members of the Class of 1980 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.