Navy IDs All 10 Missing Or Dead Sailors In McCain Tragedy, Ends Rescue Ops

Damage to the port side is visible as the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) steers towards Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore, following a collision with a merchant vessel while underway Aug. 21.
Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton

The Navy on Aug. 24 publicly disclosed the identities of the 10 crewmembers lost in the USS John S. McCain collision last weekend, announcing the suspension search-and-rescue operations for the nine sailors who are still missing.

The 80-hour, multinational rescue op has given way to a search-and-recovery op, led by Navy and Marine Corps divers who were canvassing “inside flooded compartments in the ship for the missing Sailors,” according to the Aug. 24 announcement by the Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet.

A team of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers lowers a tending line while conducting diving operations on USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) Aug. 23.Navy/Master Chief Joshua Dumke

Those divers have already recovered the remains of 22-year-old Aaron Smith, an Electronics Technician 3rd Class from New Jersey, and continue to search for the missing. Several of those sailors had already been identified by their families, but Thursday was the first time the service acknowledged them all by name. They are:

  • Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Missouri
  • Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from Texas
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Maryland
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Ohio
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Maryland
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from New York
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Connecticut
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Texas
  • Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Illinois   

A search conducted by the Malaysian navy had previously recovered the remains of as many as five people near the collision site, but U.S. officials now claim none of those remains belonged to the missing McCain crewmen.

Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America supply department are providing support to the crew of the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) following a collision outside the Malacca Straits.Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristina Young

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was steaming westward, approaching the Singapore Strait, on the morning of Aug. 21,when it was struck on its port quarter by a Liberian-flagged oil tanker. The impact tore a hole in McCain’s hull, causing heavy flooding, injuring five sailors, and leaving 10 missing.

The incident — 7th Fleet’s second fatal destroyer crash in two months, and its fourth surface-ship mishap in less than a year — led the Chief of Naval Operations to announce a pause in global operations and a major investigation into the underlying causes. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the chief of 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, would be relieved of his command.

Tugboats from Singapore assist USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) as it steers towards Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore.Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Madailein Abbott

“This trend demands more forceful action,” the CNO, Adm. John Richardson, said in a video message announcing the operational pause. “We want our fleet commanders to get together with their leaders and their commands to ensure that we’re taking all appropriate immediate actions to ensure safe and effective operations around the world.”

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