Navy Loses 15th Sailor to COVID-19, Second Death in October

October 20, 2021 4:25 PM
Master-at-Arms Senior Chief Michael Haberstumpf died Oct. 10 from COVID-19-related complications. US NAVY PHOTO

A sailor stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., died from complications related to COVID-19 earlier this month, the Navy announced Wednesday.

Master-at-Arms Senior Chief Michael Haberstumpf, 42, died from complications of COVID-19 on Oct. 10 at University of North Carolina Medical Center in Chapel Hill, according to a Navy press release. Haberstumpf is the 15th sailor to die from the disease since the pandemic began in December 2019, according to a USNI News tally of military deaths.

Haberstumpf tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 2 and was hospitalized seven days later. The Navy did not comment on whether he was vaccinated at the time he was diagnosed with the disease. The Navy mandated on Sept. 1 that all members be vaccinated. Any active-duty personnel not vaccinated by Nov. 28 will be discharged unless they have an exemption or a pending one, USNI News previously reported.

At the time of his death, Haberstumpf was assigned to the Joint Special Operations Intelligence Brigade, according to his Navy’s bio. He started with the unit on Nov. 19, 2019.

Haberstumpf enlisted in 2005. Previously to his job at Fort Bragg, he was a member of the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command, in Bremerton, Washington, from June 17, 2013 to Sept. 27, 2016. He was also a part of the Deployable Medical System, Naval Hospital Detachment, in Bremerton, from Dec. 17, 2012, until June 17, 2013, and Commander Fleet Activities, Sasebo Security Detachment, in Kyushu Sasebo, Japan, from Oct. 14, 2008, until Nov. 12, 2012.

As of Oct. 20, one Marine and 15 sailors have died from COVID-19 related complications.

Aviation Electrician’s Mates (Mechanical) 1st Class Cory Weber, 51, died on Oct. 3. He died at Sunrise hospital in Las Vegas after being diagnosed with the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 on Sept. 17.

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

Four sailors died in February 2021.

Navy boot camp instructor Chief Quartermaster Herbert Rojas, 59, died on Feb. 2 while quarantining at home. Information Systems Technician (Submarines) Second Class Petty Officer Cody Andrew-Godfredson Myers, 26, died on Feb. 4 in the intensive care unit at University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. He was assigned to the Blue Crew on Ohio-class submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN-734).

Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class Marcglenn Orcullo, 42, died on Feb. 12 at a Norfolk, Va., hospital. He served aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1). Chief Hull Technician Justin Huf, 39, died on Feb. 22 in the ICU Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk. He was assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4.

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

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

Personnel Specialist First Class Debrielle Richardson, 29, died on Aug. 13 at a Jacksonville, Fla.-area hospital. A day later, Sgt. Edmar Ismael, 27, an electrician with Support Platoon, Engineer Support Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, died. Aviation Support Equipment Technician 2nd Class Robert McMahon, 41, also died on Aug. 14.

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

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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