The Navy has recovered the remaining eight sailors who died aboard guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-58) following an Aug. 21 collision, U.S. 7th Fleet announced late Sunday night.
As of Sunday night, Navy and Marine divers have recovered all 10 sailors that were missing and believed to be in two berthing areas that were flooded after the Liberian-flagged chemical tanker Alnic MC and McCain collided near Singapore.
As of Thursday, the Navy had only recovered Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, of Conn., and 22-year-old Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith from New Jersey.
The sailors that were recovered over the weekend are:
- Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas
- Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Amazonia, Missouri
- Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Gaithersburg, Maryland
- Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Cable, Ohio
- Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Manchester, Maryland
- Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from Poughkeepsie, New York
- Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Killeen, Texas
- Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Decatur, Illinois
The bodies are due to return to the U.S. in a dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base sometime this week, USNI News understands.
On Thursday, the Navy shifted from search and rescue operations near the site of the collision to a recovery effort for remains that were believed to be aboard the damaged ship. A Navy official told USNI News last week that the nature of the damage to the ship has made it difficult for divers to search the spaces.
Meanwhile, amphibious warship USS America (LHA-6) departed Singapore to continue its maiden deployment after assisting the McCain crew in the early days following the crash, U.S. 7th Fleet announced on Sunday.
Following McCain’s Aug. 21 collision with a chemical tanker, America transited to the Changi Naval Base to assist with search and rescue operations and assisting the crew pier-side.
“While in Singapore, sailors and Marines aboard America provided initial support for the McCain crew to include berthing for 155 Sailors, daily supplies, counseling, medical/dental services and communications network support,” read the 7th Fleet news release.
“Additionally, America’s sailors assisted with damage control efforts by providing watchstanders and additional equipment.”
Also last week, the Navy formally started investigations about circumstances surrounding the collision and its operations in the Western Pacific.
Additionally, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift removed former U.S. 7th Fleet head Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin from his command due to a loss of confidence in his leadership.
“We will determine the causes of these incidents, we will learn from them and we will apply those lessons. What changes need to be made will be made,” U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift said in a Sunday message.
“We have the full support of and forceful backup from our CNO to provide the resources and the oversight necessary to fulfill this pressing requirement.”