HOBUCKEN, N.C. (AP) _ Two Marine airmen were killed when their TAV-8A Harrier aircraft crashed in an open field in Pamlico County, an official at Cherry Point Naval Air Station said today.

The plane crashed Wednesday afternoon, said Master Gunnery Sgt. Frank Segreto. Identities of the crewmen were not released pending notification of their families.

Segreto said the crash is under military investigation. The plane belonged to Marine Air Group 32, he said.

John Collins, who was driving home with his wife, said he saw a big puff of smoke over the trees.

''I saw the smoke that came up from it,'' Collins said. ''I told my wife it was an explosion, but then I heard a plane had crashed.''

Segreto said it wasn't officially known whether the crew tried to eject before the crash, but reported that a witness saw a parachute.