CAMP LEJEUNE, Onslow County - A San Diego native is the 11th of 16 service members to be identifed in Monday's KC-130 plane crash.
The San Diego Union-Tribune identified Capt. Sean "Puffin" Elliott, 30, as the co-pilot of the KC-130 that crashed in rural Mississippi, following an interview with his parents.
His wife, Catherine, lives in North Carolina, according to the Union-Tribune.
His father, John, told the Union-Tribune his son used to sleep with a KC-130 model aircraft in bed when he was just 4 years old.
“He did that for a long time,” said his father, John Elliott, referring to the bedtime ritual. “He kept taking it with him to bed. He slept with it like you would a teddy bear. A big plane, in the bed. A silly plastic thing, with the toy soldiers inside. It went to bed with him every night for quite a long time.”
Sean Elliott was a graduate of UC Davis with a degree in civil engineering. He starred for the school's alpine skiing squad. He was also a phenomenal tennis player, but unlike his older brother, Erik, Sean chose to head to Marine Corps Officers Candidate School in 2008 rather than turning pro.
“Sean got all upset. Red-faced,” John Elliot said. “So the Marines didn’t know whether to name him ‘Steamer’ or ‘Puffin’ because he got so steamed up about saving puffins. Well, ‘Puffin’ stuck.”