50 sailors on USS John S. McCain honored for their bravery during 2017 collision

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Adm. John Aquilino, left, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Vice Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer, right, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, pose for a photo with award recipients aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) during an awards ceremony at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William McCann

The Navy has awarded fifty sailors for "their bravery and contributions to damage control efforts" after a 2017 collision between the USS John McCain and a merchant ship.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer collided with a 600-foot oil tanker near the Strait of Malacca on Aug. 21, 2017. Ten sailors died as a result of the crash.


After the collision, the McCain's crew "fought back against progressive flooding across numerous spaces for hours on end," a Navy press release said.

"Facing constant peril from flooding, electrocution, structural damage and noxious fumes, these Sailors prevented further loss of life and ultimately saved the ship."

Seven sailors received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal — the highest non-combat award for heroism. Fifteen others received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and 28 received the Navy Achievement Medal. Lakela Granados, a McCain ombudsman, was also given a superior public service award for her support and counseling to sailors after the incident, according to USNI.

"To commemorate on this ship what these men and women did is both notable and fitting, because the memory of their actions represent the toughness and pride of our Navy," Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a ceremony on Wednesday.

"It also helps remind the next generation of Sailors the moral character, personal sacrifice, and selfless commitment required to not give up the ship."

The full list of those who were recognized for their efforts is below.

Navy and Marine Corps Medal

  • LT Aaron Van Driessche
  • CWO3 Michael Calhoun
  • DC1 Justin Ramirez
  • DC1 Michael Cooper
  • GSM1 Delando Beckford
  • OS3 Malachi Shannon
  • SH2 Mark Williams

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

  • LT Michael Shofner
  • LTJG Kathryn Hussey
  • LTJG Meghan Meriano
  • CWO2 Joshua Patat
  • GSCS Bryan Hayes
  • DCC Anthony Ebarb
  • DC1 Hosey Brooks
  • HM1 Alan Aaron
  • HM2 Justin Lam
  • HT2 Darwin Dunlap
  • MM1 Nicholas Healy
  • GSM2 Jonathan Spence
  • MM2 Joseph Ligon
  • DC3 Harley Peterson
  • ET2 Royce Black

Navy Achievement Medal

  • LTJG Glory Armentrout
  • LTJG Jordan Snitzer
  • LTJG Madelyn Ryden
  • LTJG Thomas Foster
  • ENS Daniel Coley
  • ENS James Brisotti
  • CSCS Donnel Robinson
  • PSC Philip Torio
  • CS1 Christopher Plowden
  • GSM1 Mark Winter, Jr.
  • MR1 John Ray, III
  • NC1 Menh Luc
  • DC2 Anthony Dana
  • EM2 Ethan Golston
  • EN2 Edwin Loredo
  • GSE2 Thomas Neff
  • GSM2 Yong Gao
  • HT2 Laurin Bynoe
  • MM2 Jorge Rivera
  • PS2 Jerrell Dean
  • BM3 Tevin Vassel
  • DC3 Christopher Christensen
  • DC3 Jeremy Snyder
  • EM3 Alejandro Alemanayala
  • GSE3 Steven Osenbruk
  • GSM3 Ivan Cruz
  • MM3 Elijah Swantkoski
  • EMFN Lashawn Kellom, Jr.

Superior Public Service Award

  • Lakela Granados
  • Kathleen Hoar

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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