Unit: Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452), Marine Aircraft Group 49 (MAG-49), Marine Aircraft Wing (4th MAW). The squadron, known as the "Yankees", is stationed at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.
Dan Baldassare, 20, had wanted to be a Marine since he was in middle school, his friend Dan McGowan told WPIX-TV .
"He actually would bring military gloves to football practice and play with them," said McGowan, who drove his friend to practice in high school. "He was a patriot and all he wanted to do was serve our country. Everyone had a lot of respect for Dan."
On Wednesday, after the crewmaster of the KC-130 died in the Mississippi crash, a marine sergeant guarded the home where Baldassare grew up in suburban Colts Neck, New Jersey.
That sergeant told the Asbury Park Press that Baldassare's family wanted privacy and was declining comment.
"We're so sorry and our heart is just breaking, just breaking for them," neighbor Rosalind Innucci, said of Baldassare's parents and sister. Innucci has lived on street for 14 years.
Baldassare was stationed at Stewart.