NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) – A 19-year-old Marine from this coastal city died in Iraq Wednesday when a roadside bomb blew up the tank he was driving, the mayor said.

New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang said he had received the news from the man’s family.

Lance Cpl. Michael Ford joined the Marines after watching President Bush speaking on television about the war, his father, Joseph Ford, told The Standard-Times of New Bedford.

The Marine Corps notified the family of his death early Thursday morning. Ford had been in Iraq less than a month.

“I met with the family and offered them the city’s condolences and sympathy,” Lang said. “The city will do anything to help the family.”

Ford, a 2004 culinary arts graduate of Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational High School, was the second of five children.

, The Standard-Times reported. He had planned to get an education and go into law enforcement after his military service.

“He was a noble and great warrior … a hero,” 1st Sgt. Todd Parisi told The Standard-Times from the family’s home. “This young man was contributing greatly to fighting the war on terrorism.”

Four Massachusetts servicemen have died in Iraq this month, three of whom lived on the South Coast. Army Pvt. Michael E. Bouthout from Fall River died Saturday in a bomb blast.

At least 36 servicemen from Massachusetts have been killed since the Iraq war began.

AP-ES-04-27-06 2102EDT