Marine rescued after 2 military aircraft crash off coast of Japan

US Marine aircraft suffer 'mishap' off Japanese coast, search-and-rescue underway

US Marine aircraft suffer 'mishap' off Japanese coast, search-and-rescue underway

The Marine Corps has punished two aviators who flew their aircraft deliberately to draw a giant penis in the skies over California's Salton Sea.

Japanese and USA officials say two American warplanes crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Japan's southwestern coast after a midair collision early Thursday, and search and rescue operations are underway.

A U.S. defense official told AFP there had been a crash after the plane took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan.

Search and rescue operations are underway.

The planes involved were an F-18 fighter and a C-130 tanker, the official said. The reports suggest the F/A-18 is a two-seat variant and five other crewmembers were on board the C-130.

Japanese aircraft were taking part in the search effort, according to the Marines. It said in a statement that the accident is under investigation and gave no further details.

"The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred", the Marine Corps Base Camp Butler statement read.

United States media say the two planes crashed during midair refuelling but this has not been officially confirmed.