The body of Marine Capt. Benjamin Cross returned to Maine on Thursday evening, and he will be laid to rest in a memorial ceremony with military honors Saturday in Bethel.

Cross’ body was given a military escort to Bethel by Maine State Police on Thursday evening after being flown into Boston, along with the body of World War II veteran Alberic Blanchette.

The procession for Blanchette, who was also to receive a military escort, was to arrive Thursday afternoon and take his body to Caribou.

Cross, 26, was among three Marines killed on Aug. 5 when their MV-22 Osprey crashed into the Coral Sea while trying to land on a Navy ship off the east coast of Australia. Fellow Marines Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, of Kansas and Lance Cpl. Ruben Velasco, 19, of California also died in the crash.

Cross had been stationed on the Japanese island of Okinawa for the past year and was training in Australia for the last three months, family members said.

Cross, a first lieutenant who was promoted posthumously to captain, spent most of his childhood in Bethel, where he was a standout athlete and student.

He graduated in 2009 from Telstar Regional High School in Bethel. He was frequently named to the honor roll, and during his senior year was named Mr. Telstar and received numerous scholarships, including a President’s Award for Academic Excellence and a Marine Corps NROTC scholarship.

He attended Virginia Military Institute and spent time in Washington, D.C.; Florida, and Texas before being sent overseas with the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, stationed on Okinawa, about a year ago.

A “celebration of life” service is being planned for Saturday at Telstar Regional High School from 11 a.m. to noon. A burial with full military honors will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Bethel.

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