Bodies Of USS McCain Missing Sailors Found
Navy and Marine Corps divers have found the bodies of all 10 sailors who died in a collision aboard the USS John S. McCain last week in the South China Sea, the Navy announced.
The bodies were discovered the same day the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship USS America departed Singapore after concluding its support for the damaged McCain, the 505-foot guided-missile destroyer that crashed Aug. 21 with the 600-foot oil tanker Alnic MC.
Camp Pendleton-based Marine divers were among those searching the McCain for the bodies of the missing sailors.
Earlier in the week, divers found the bodies of Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, of Suffield, Connecticut.
On Sunday, the bodies of the other eight were discovered. They were Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Amazonia, Missouri; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas; 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; and Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Decatur, Illinois.
Camp Pendleton-based Marine helicopters also joined Navy helicopters from the America in searching for the sailors in the water, the Navy said.
The America was the first U.S. warship to come to the aid of the McCain. The San Diego-based ship was stationed across the dock from the McCain and provided berthing for 155 sailors, daily supplies, counseling, medical and dental services and communications support, Navy officials said. Sailors aboard America also assisted with damage control efforts by providing additional watch- keeping personnel and extra equipment.
Sailors and flight crews from the America also coordinated with authorities in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia in an open-ocean search for the missing McCain crew that spanned over 2,100 square miles. All 10 of the bodies were ultimately found on the ship.
The McCain collision was the second recent fatal collision in the Navy's Pacific-based 7th Fleet following a June crash involving the USS Fitzgerald that killed seven sailors, including two San Diego County men. Those collisions prompted the Navy to change leadership of the 7th Fleet and launch an in-depth inquiry into what has gone wrong in the Pacific Fleet.