By CBS13 Staff

PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — One of the five Marines killed when an aircraft crashed in a Southern California desert this week was from Placer County.

The U.S. Marines Corps named Capt. John J. Sax, 33, among the five killed when an MV-22 Osprey, belonging to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, went down just after noon Wednesday in a desert area near Glamis.

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Captain John J. Sax, 33 (credit: U.S. Marine Corps)

Sax has served as a Marine for nearly six years. He was an MV-22B pilot assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364.

“There was never any doubt from a young age that Johnny would be a pilot and his passion was to fly!” John’s father Steve Sax said in a statement Friday. “I am so proud of the man he became and so proud to call him my son! This loss will change my life forever and is a loss to not only the Marines but this world!”

Steve Sax, a former MLB 5x All Star who had a stint with the Oakland Athletics, said those who knew his son saw John’s “smile, bright light, [and] his love for his family.”

“This loss will change my life forever and is a loss to not only the Marines but this world!” Steve Sax said.

During his service, John Sax has been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and a Letter of Appreciation.

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“This is an extremely difficult time for VMM-364 and it is hard to express the impact that this loss has had on our squadron and its families. Our primary mission now is taking care of the family members of our fallen Marines and we respectfully request privacy for their families as they navigate this difficult time,” said Lt. Col. John C. Miller, Commanding Officer of VMM-364.

The Marine Corps said the crash happened during routine flight training and remains under investigation.

The remaining four were identified as:

Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief.

Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire, an MV-22B Pilot.

Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Johnson, Wyoming, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief.

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Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief.