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Boston Herald
Boston Herald
2 Dec 2023
Chris Van Buskirk

NextImg:Massachusetts ‘mourns’ with family of Pittsfield native who died in Osprey crash, Warren says

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the entire state “mourns” with the family of a U.S. Air Force member who died in an Osprey crash off the coast of Japan earlier this week.

Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher was killed Wednesday during a training mission off the southern coast of Japan, according to the Pittsfield Police Department. Galliher is the only identified member of the eight-person crew of an Osprey V-22 that crashed into the ocean.

U.S. Air Force member Jacob "Jake" Galliher (Courtesy / Pittsfield PD)

Courtesy / Pittsfield PD
U.S. Air Force member Jacob “Jake” Galliher (Courtesy / Pittsfield PD)

Warren said her “deepest condolences” were with the family of the Pittsfield native.

“My heart breaks for his wife and two sons, and his family in Lanesborough, Massachusetts. Staff Sgt. Galliher was a brave, smart, and talented young man who served his nation with honor. I am pressing the military for answers about this aircraft’s troubled history and action to keep airmen safe,” Warren said in a statement.

Pittsfield police said Galliher graduated Taconic High School in 2017. The father of two grew up in Western Massachusetts.

Gov. Maura Healey said she was “heartbroken” to learn of Galliher’s death.

“My thoughts are with his family, especially his two young sons, and the Berkshire County community as they mourn the loss of one of their best and brightest,” Healey said in a statement. “Here in Massachusetts, we are deeply grateful for the bravery and selflessness of our servicemembers, and our hearts go out to his colleagues in the Air Force on this devastating loss.”

Veterans Services Secretary Jon Santiago said the Galliher family is “enduring every service family’s nightmare, and we hold them in our hearts and prayers as they grieve.”

“May his memory serve as a source of solace and strength to his family, friends, and fellow servicemembers. Our Massachusetts military community extends our deepest condolences to his family and will honor his legacy,” Santiago said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who represents Pittsfield, said there is “no greater pain than the pain of losing a child, and Jacob Galliher was beloved to all.”

“Staff Sgt. Galliher represented our nation’s best, enlisting in the Air Force right out of high school and committing himself to serving his country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his mother, father, wife, and two sons. The Pittsfield community and a grateful nation mourns the loss of Jacob Galliher,” he said.

The other seven service members were still missing as of Friday and Air Force Special Operations Command said the search for the aircraft and crew continued.

“Search and rescue operations consist of a combination of air, surface, and subsurface search of water and coastline in the vicinity of Yakushima, Japan, in order to locate the crewmembers,” the command said in a statement.

The Pentagon said Thursday that U.S. Ospreys continue to operate in Japan, and Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said she was not aware of an official request from Japan to ground them.

“We are concerned about the continuing Osprey flights despite our repeated requests and the absence of a sufficient explanation about their safety” from the U.S. military, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Friday.

Associated Press and previous Herald materials were used in this report.