Navy Destroyer Mourns ‘One Of Our Bright Shining Stars’ After Red Sea Mishap

Bullet Points
Ensign Sarah Joy Mitchell, 23, of Feasterville, Pennsylvania, died from injuries sustained aboard the destroyer USS Jason Dunham on July 8, 2018.
U.S. Navy photo.

Navy Ens. Sarah Joy Mitchell was killed during small boat training in the Red Sea on July 8, defense officials have confirmed.


  • Mitchell, 23, was assigned to the destroyer USS Jason Dunham, according to the Navy. She was taken to a hospital in Aqaba, Jordan, where she was pronounced dead. No other sailors were injured, and the incident is under investigation.
  • “There is no current indication of enemy activity or foul play,” Pentagon spokesman Army Co. Rob Manning told reporters on Monday. “The sailor died during non-hostile operations.”
  • Originally from Feasterville, Penn., Mitchell was commissioned on May 12, 2017, after graduating from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., her official biography says. She had been assigned to Jason Dunham since June 5, 2017, and was in training for her Surface Warfare Officer qualification at the time of her death.
  • Cmdr. John Hamilton, the Jason Dunham’s captain, wrote on the ship’s Facebook page that the crew “mourns the loss of one of our bright shining stars.”
  • “While her light may have been snuffed out far too early, we will do what this family does best and rally, continue to support each other, and honor her memory by continuing to do what she loved most, stand the watch,” Hamilton wrote. “Her smile will live on in every sunrise and her laughter will echo in our ears as we look up at the stars every night.
  • “Rest easy shipmate, we have the watch. Semper Fidelis, Semper Fortis.”

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