The commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) died Oct. 10 in a house fire at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.
The NAS Jacksonville Fire Department arrived at the home of Capt. Wesley Smith around 8 p.m. Saturday and found the 50-year-old unresponsive. Smith was transported to Naval Hospital Jacksonville, where he was pronounced dead, according to a Navy statement.
“We offer our sincere condolences to Capt. Smith’s wife and children, his family and the entire USS Philippine Sea crew and family. They are in our thoughts and prayers as we deal with this tragic loss,” Rear Adm. Brian Luther, commander of Carrier Strike Group Two, said in the statement.
“Capt. Smith served the Navy and our nation honorably and with great distinction. We honor his outstanding contributions to our Navy and this nation.”
Smith joined the Navy in March 1990 and served as a surface warfare officer. He took command of Philippine Sea in October 2013 after commanding the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG-68).
Smith is originally from Virginia and is survived by his wife and two children.
Local media reported the cause of the fire is still under investigation, as is the exact cause of death.
The ship’s executive officer, Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, has temporarily assumed command.