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13th Sailor Dies From COVID-19 Complications

Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Ryan Crosby, 39. US Navy Photo

A Virginia Beach, Va., sailor assigned to Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic died on Sunday after complications from a COVID-19 infection, the Navy announced today.

Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Ryan Crosby, 39, tested positive for the virus on Aug. 26 and was admitted to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth on Sept. 8, and was transferred to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital on Sept. 9, a service spokesman told USNI News on Monday.

Crosby is the 13th sailor to die from complications of COVID-19, according to a USNI News tally of active-duty deaths since the start of the pandemic. Navy officials would not tell USNI News if Crosby was vaccinated, but he contracted the virus before the Navy issued the policy for mandatory vaccinations on Sept. 1.

“Of note, all Navy COVID deaths have been individuals not immunized (one individual was partially vaccinated),” Navy officials wrote in a Navy message, released Aug. 31 and detailing the new vaccination policy. “In consideration of this persistent health and readiness threat to Navy service members, vaccination against COVID-19 is now mandatory.”

Now, active-duty sailors and Marines are required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 28 and reservists must be vaccinated by Dec. 28.

To date, 13 sailors and one Marine have died from COVID-19 complications.

On Aug. 14, Sgt. Edmar Ismael, 27, an electrician with Support Platoon, Engineer Support Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.

On Aug. 14 Aviation Support Equipment Technician 2nd Class Robert McMahon, 41, died in the hospital from COVID-19 complications in New Orleans, La.

On Aug. 13, Personnel Specialist First Class Debrielle Richardson, 29, died in the hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.

In July, Capt. Corby Ropp, 48, an active-duty Navy doctor, died in Durham, N.C., at Duke University Hospital.

On Apr. 29, Senior Chief Fire Controlman Michael Wilson, 45, died at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Va. At the time, Wilson was on a short-term assignment at the Information Warfare Training Command in Virginia Beach.

On Feb. 22, Chief Hull Technician Justin Huf, 39, died at the Sentara Leigh Hospital’s intensive care unit in Norfolk, Va. He was assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 at the time. Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class Marcglenn Orcullo, 42, who was part of the crew of USS Wasp (LHD-1), died in a Norfolk, Va., hospital from complications connected to COVID-19 on Feb. 12.

On Feb. 4, Information Systems Technician (Submarines) Second Class Petty Officer Cody Andrew-Godfredson Myers, 26, died of COVID-19 in the intensive care unit at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital’s. Myers was part of the Blue Crew on Ohio-class submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN-734).

On Feb. 2, Navy boot camp instructor Chief Quartermaster Herbert Rojas, 50, died of COVID-19 at home while he was in quarantine.

Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, died in Guam in April 2020 following the outbreak aboard aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

Three reservists have also died from the virus. Master-at-Arms First Class Allen Hillman, 47, died on July 26 in a hospital in Boise, Idaho. Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Abdigafar Salad Warsame, 52, died of COVID-19 in January. Builder 2nd Class Nathan Huff Bishop, 33, died in December. Bishop had been assigned to Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Akron, Ohio, while Warsame was assigned to NOSC Columbus, Ohio.