Navy loses 14th Sailor to COVID-19

October 6, 2021 4:45 PM - Updated: October 6, 2021 5:52 PM
Aviation Electrician’s Mates (AE) (Mechanical) 1st Class Cory Weber died of COVID-19 complications Oct. 3. US Navy Photo

A sailor assigned to Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Command died of complications from COVID-19 Sunday, the service announced on Wednesday.

Aviation Electrician’s Mates (Mechanical) 1st Class Cory Weber, 51, is the 14th sailor to die of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in December 2019, according to a USNI News tally of active-duty deaths. He died at Sunrise hospital in Las Vegas.

Weber was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Sept. 17, although he began isolation four days earlier. He was hospitalized on Sept. 20, according to a release from Naval Air Forces.

“We mourn alongside the family, friends and shipmates of Petty Officer Weber during this extremely difficult time, and we ask that their privacy be respected,” according to the release.

Sailors, Marines and civllian in the unit are being supported by chaplains, mental health specialists and counselors, according to the release.

It is not clear if Weber was fully vaccinated against COVID-19. He tested positive for the disease after the Sept. 1 mandate requiring all sailors to be vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, 90 percent of active-duty sailors are fully vaccinated, while 98 percent have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Naval Air Forces public affairs commander Lt. Alyssa La Rosa said in an email.

Weber served nearly 19 years in the Navy prior to his death. He enlisted on Nov. 27, 2002.
Prior to serving with the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, he was a member of the “Kestrels” Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137 for approximately three and a half years and the “Bounty Hunters” Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2 from July 15, 2010 to Feb. 13, 2015, according to his Navy biography.

Weber also served with the “Vikings” of Electronic-Attack Squad (VAQ) 129 from March 20, 2015 until Oct. 16, 2017 and from Nov. 6, 2007 until June 14, 2010.

As of Oct. 6, one Marine and 14 sailors have died from COVID-19 related complications. Three reservists have also died from the disease caused by virus SARS-CoV-2.

Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, was the first sailor to die of COVID-19. He died in April 2020 in Guam following the outbreak on aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

On Feb. 2, 2021, Navy boot camp instructor Chief Quartermaster Herbert Rojas, 59, died while quarantining at home.

On Feb. 4, Information Systems Technician (Submarines) Second Class Petty Officer Cody Andrew-Godfredson Myers, 26, died from the disease in the intensive care unit at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. At the time of his death, Myers was assigned to the Blue Crew on Ohio-class submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN-734).

On Feb. 12, Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class Marcglenn Orcullo, 42, died at a Norfolk, Va., hospital from COVID-19 complications. Orcullo was part of the crew of USS Wasp (LHD-1).

On Feb. 22, Chief Hull Technician Justin Huf, 39, died in the intensive care unit at Norfolk-based Sentara Leigh Hospital. He was assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4.

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

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

On Aug. 13, Personnel Specialist First Class Debrielle Richardson, 29, died at a Jacksonville, Fla.-area hospital.

On Aug. 14, Aviation Support Equipment Technician 2nd Class Robert McMahon, 41, died of COVID-19-related complications in a New Orleans hospital. Sgt. Edmar Ismael, 27, an electrician with Support Platoon, Engineer Support Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, also died on Aug. 14.

On Sept. 19, Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Ryan Crosby, 39, died from COVID-19 at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. He was assigned to the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic.

The three reservists that died are Builder 2nd Class Nathan Huff Bishop, 33, who died in December, Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Abdigafar Salad Warsame, 52, who died in January, and aster-at-Arms First Class Allen Hillman, 47, who died on July 26.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
Follow @hmongilio

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