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Bodies of all ten sailors recovered from USS John S McCain

Divers from the Navy and Marine Corps have located all ten of the sailors who were killed when an oil tanker collided with the USS John S McCain on August 21.

Two bodies had been recovered as of Friday, and the remaining eight men were found over the weekend. 

Navy officials had previously announced their decision a halt a sea search in order to focus on searching the flooded compartments of the destroyer.

The fallen men ranged in age from 22-39, and hailed from eight US states – Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas.

 

The bodies of all ten sailors lost on board the USS John S McCain last week have now been recovered. They are (clockwise from top left): Kenneth Smith, 22; Logan Palmer, 23; John Hoagland III, 20; Dustin Doyon, 26; Jacob Drake, 21; Timothy Eckels Jr, 23; Kevin Bushell, 26; Abraham Lopez, 39; Nathan Findley, 31; Corey Ingram, 28

 The McCain (pictured; damage seen bottom-left) was in a collision with an oil tanker. The incident is still under investigation by authorities

 The McCain (pictured; damage seen bottom-left) was in a collision with an oil tanker. The incident is still under investigation by authorities

The cause of the crash between the US Navy destroyer and the tanker remains under investigation. 

The collision caused the tanker to rip through the ship’s hull, creating a gash that flooded crew berths and machinery and communications rooms.

The commander of the Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet was fired last week after a series of accidents this year raised questions about its operations. 

The firing of Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, a three-star admiral, was a rare dismissal of a high-ranking officer for operational reasons. 

The Navy also ordered an operational pause for its fleets worldwide to make sure all steps are being taken to ensure safe and effective operations.

The Pacific Fleet will also carry out a ship-by-ship review of its vessels, looking at navigation, mechanical systems, bridge resource management and training.

In the meantime, the families of the following brave men will be left bereft at their loss.  

John Henry Hoagland III, 20, of Texas

The remains of John Henry Hoagland III were recovered over the weekend, along with eight of his comrades

Hoagland joined the Navy two years ago

The remains of John Henry Hoagland III (left and right) were recovered over the weekend, along with eight of his comrades. He joined the Navy two years ago

Hoagland was an Electronics Technician 3rd Class from Killeen, Texas, who grew up in an army family.

While at Shoemaker High School in Killeen he signed up to the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps – a decision he was glad to have made, the Killeen Daily Herald  reported in 2015

‘It’s been life-changing,’ he said. ‘It stuck with me. It made me a better person and caused me to interact with people in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise.’

His mother, Cynthia Kemball, told the Daily Herald on Thursday that her son had been in the Navy for just over two years, and had always wanted to serve.

‘The first time he said he was joining the military was when he was 5,’ she said. 

‘Then when he was 17 he started talking to recruiters… There was never any doubt [that he’d choose the Navy].’

In a Facebook post in June, Hoagland wrote: ‘I’ve been to a few gorgeous places since I’ve made it out to the Fleet (which, let’s be honest, a good few of us in A School were convinced was a myth).

‘But man, I still can’t get over just looking out over the ocean or staring up at all those stars at night. 

‘I think those two things are at the top of my list of of favorite reasons for going Navy over any other branch.’ 

Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, of Ohio 

Jacob Drake had been planning to return to the US 'for good' in December; his body was recovered from the USS John S McCain over the weekend

Jacob Drake had been planning to return to the US ‘for good’ in December; his body was recovered from the USS John S McCain over the weekend

An Electronics Technician 2nd Class from Champaign County, Drake originally from Columbus, Ohio, but attended Triad High School in Troy, Illinois.

He graduated in 2013, and joined the Navy at least in part because he wanted to see the world, his sister Veronica told the Springfield News-Sun.

She said he had enjoyed his time in Japan, particularly spending time hiking in the hills around the Navy’s Yokosuka base and visiting ‘cat cafes,’ where visitors can drink coffee alongside in-house fluffy companions. 

He had recently told Veronica he would be back home on shore leave in November, and that in December he was ‘going to be back in the United States for good.’

Drake received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in July for going above and beyond the call of duty during Mid-Cycle Inspections aboard the McCain.

Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, of New Jersey 

The body of Kenneth Smith (seen left and right) was recovered from a flooded section of the USS John S McCain on August 22

Smith was remembered as 'compassionate' and 'smart'

The body of Kenneth Smith (seen left and right) was recovered from a flooded section of the USS John S McCain on August 22. He was remembered as ‘compassionate’ and ‘smart’

Smith’s body was the first to be recovered by divers earlier this week inside a compartment of John S McCain ship.

Smith, a third-generation sailor, was born in Milford, Michigan, and followed his father first to Norfolk, Virginia, and then to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, across the river from Philadelphia, where his father was stationed.

He attended Cherry Hill High School, where he was president of the video game club, and graduated in 2013. 

He enlisted in 2014, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

Speaking to NBC 10, his mother, April Brandon, described him as ‘an online sci-fi author, an animal and human rights activist, and a compassionate, smart man.’

She had initially hoped that he might have survived the crash, saying ‘I have faith in my son’s training. Men and women like my son are what makes America, and the world, great.’

His father, Darryl Smith, a naval Electronics Technician Third Class Petty Officer, released a statement prior to his son’s body being found, saying ‘I appreciate the courageous work of the crew in the aftermath of the collision and the on-going rescue efforts.’ 

‘He’s one of the best people I know, he always has time for the people that he cares about,’ said a friend, Lexi Mullner.

Timothy Thomas Eckels, Jr., 23, of Maryland 

Timothy Thomas Eckels, Jr, had hoped to join the Army but was persuaded to join the Navy by his mom, who said it was safer

Eckels body was among the eight recovered over the weekend

Timothy Thomas Eckels, Jr, had hoped to join the Army but was persuaded to join the Navy by his mom, who said it was safer. His body was among the eight recovered over the weekend

Prior to joining the Navy in 2013 and rising to the rank of Information Systems Technician 2nd Class, Eckels attended Manchester Valley High School in Carroll County, from which he graduated in 2012.

A keen fan of the outdoors – particularly hiking and kayaking – Eckels was also a keen cook and helped his mom Rachel in the kitchen from the age of six months old on.

He had originally hoped to join the Army, until Rachel forbade it, she told the Baltimore Sun.

‘Absolutely not,’ Rachel remembered telling him. ‘They’re the first to go to war, the first on the line.’ Instead, she advised him to join the Navy, for which she has also worked as a civilian contractor.

He signed up while still in high school, but he got off to a rough start.

After a delay due to health issues, he completed his training only to find himself back in Maryland, having been assigned to the National Security Agency at Fort Meade.

‘I remember him saying, “I didn’t join the Navy to fricking come back to Maryland,”‘ she said. ‘I said, “Just give it time. The field you’re in is very important, so they’re going to give you the best training at the NSA.”

‘Many times he doubted going into the Navy, but when he finally found his niche, he said, “I think I’m going to make a career out of this.”‘ 

After a false start – a planned move to San Diego fell through – he was finally shipped out to Japan in October. 

It was his first time abroad, and he was thrilled by the experience, Rachel said, calling a couple of times a week to tell her of port calls in Vietnam, Australia and Singapore.

‘At night, the sea is so still that it looks like ice or a sheet of water,’ he told her.

He tried to call her at 8.55pm on the day before the collision. She said she missed the call, and thought she would be able to catch him on the next one.

Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, of Illinois 

Logan Palmer followed a long family tradition by joining the Navy. His childhood pal said he had enjoyed being on the ship, and was always a 'great person'

Logan Palmer followed a long family tradition by joining the Navy. His childhood pal said he had enjoyed being on the ship, and was always a ‘great person’

Born in Decatur, Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Palmer graduated Sangamon Valley High School in Niantic, just west of Decatur, in 2012.

He then studied at Richland Community College, from which he graduated with an associate’s degree in science in May 2015. He was an honors student in Phi Beta Kappa. 

He then followed a long Palmer family tradition and joined the Navy, where he received a National Defense Service Medal, according to his personnel file.

His childhood friend, Aaron Wiggins, told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday that he was still reeling from the news that his friend was missing.

‘It hit me pretty hard,’ said Wiggins, who had followed Palmer’s adventures in the East on Facebook.

‘I just messaged him probably a week and a half ago. I was asking how he was doing. He said he was doing good and enjoying being on the ship, and they were going to a new station.’

‘He’s always been a great person,’ Wiggins, 24, recalled. ‘He was in Boy Scouts and made it all way to Eagle Scouts. He was a person you knew you could count on. You tell him what you need and he’d do it.’ 

Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, of Connecticut 

Dustin Doyon enlisted in 2015, six years after he left high school. He's an active young man and is a fan of skiing and hiking

The missing man says people should 'live the dream of dreamers'

Dustin Doyon’s father, Darryl Smith, said in a statement issued to the Navy his late son was ‘a great young man’ who made his family ‘incredibly proud’

Doyon’s was the second body to be found aboard the ship; the discovery of his remains was announced on Friday.

He signed up to the McCain in 2016, just one year after enlisting and five years after graduating from Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In a statement issued to the Navy, Doyon’s father, Darryl Smith, remembered his son as ‘a great young man’ who made his family ‘incredibly proud’ through his short-lived endeavors.

‘He truly loved his family, the Navy and his shipmates,’ Smith said. ‘I am incredibly proud of his service to our country. He will be greatly missed and I am thankful we had 22 wonderful years together.’

An active young man, Doyon was a fan of skiing and hiking, according to his Facebook page, where he wrote: ‘Live the dream of dreamers. Where no word is worthy of a thought, no picture as vivid as a memory.’  

Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, of Maryland

Kevin Bushell was described as a 'smart kid' who had done well, rising through the ranks of the Navy, and didn't have 'a mean bone in his body'

Kevin Bushell was described as a ‘smart kid’ who had done well, rising through the ranks of the Navy, and didn’t have ‘a mean bone in his body’

Bushell, an Electronics Technician 2nd Class, graduated from Gaithersburg High School in 2009 and held a number of jobs before joining the Navy seven years ago. 

His father Thomas said: 'I think just God wanted him more than we did'

His father Thomas said: ‘I think just God wanted him more than we did’

It was there that he finally found his calling, his father, Thomas, told the Baltimore Sun.

‘He meshed well with the Navy,’ Thomas said. ‘He was doing well and coming up in the ranks, I mean, smart kid… It wasn’t anything anybody pushed him toward, as far as I know.’

Thomas said that he and his son would ride four-wheelers around together, and that Kevin was a kind soul.

‘There wasn’t a mean bone in his body,’ Thomas said. ‘He was a very good kid.’

Bushell’s body was found along with seven other of his comrades over the weekend. Prior to that discovery, his father said that if he had passed away, then that was his time to go.

If he’s gone, ‘I think just God wanted him more than we did,’ Thomas said.   

Corey George Ingram, 28, of New York 

A 'jokester at heart' and a loyal friend to his community and his family, Seaman Ingram (right) joined the Navy to see the world

A ‘jokester at heart’ and a loyal friend to his community and his family, Seaman Ingram (right) joined the Navy to see the world

A native of Poughkeepsie, Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ingram was a ‘jokester at heart’ and a reliable member of his family and community, his family told the Poughkeepsie Journal.

‘Poughkeepsie’s such a tight-knit community, there’s so much love,’ Sherona Gardner his cousin, said prior to his body being found. 

'His smile would light up a room,' his cousin Sherona Gardner, said of the much-loved technical expert

‘His smile would light up a room,’ his cousin Sherona Gardner, said of the much-loved technical expert

‘He has a big family and people supporting him all around the neighborhood, and that’s part of the reason why he wanted to join the Navy and see the world.’

‘There was nothing but jokes and laughs from him,’ Gardner said. ‘His smile would light up a room.’

He graduated from Poughkeepsie High School in 2006 and nearby Duchess Community College in 2008.

His former principal, Bob Murphy, said Ingram was ‘like most our students – good people, come to school, take care of business, move through our system and set themselves up to be productive members of society, which obviously he had accomplished.’

‘It’s just unfortunate that we are at this point,’ he added.

Charles Nathan Findley, 31, of Missouri 

Charles Findley had overcome low self-esteem and personal obstacles to excel in the Navy prior to his death

He was a First Class officer and married a Japanese woman while stationed in the country

Charles Findley had overcome low self-esteem and personal obstacles to excel in the Navy. He was a First Class officer and married a Japanese woman while stationed in the country

Findley followed in his father’s footsteps when he joined the Navy, and eventually became Electronics Technician 1st Class, his sister, Tina Greim, told Fox 4 News.

‘Charles and I spent pretty much all of our childhood attached at the hip,’ she said. ‘We moved around a lot as children with a Navy dad.’

They grew up in Parkville, and Findley got his GED at Central High School in St Joseph after overcoming personal obstacles and low self-esteem, other family members told the channel.

And when he joined the Navy he found his calling as an electronics technician, they said. ‘He was really into computers. That’s what he loved to do,’ Greim recalled.

From there, Findley’s life really took off, she said. ‘It’s crazy how much he excelled. He’s always graduated first of his class. He became First Class. 

‘He’s getting awards; he’s sailing around the world; he fell in love with a woman named Riho and married her.’

His older sister, Amy Winters, said the Navy was his life.

‘That is his dream. He loved traveling the world with the Navy and he had so many friends and the Navy truly is his family,’ she said.

‘My brother especially loved the Japanese culture and living overseas. He also had a passion for rebuilding cars.’ 

Abraham Lopez, 39, of Texas 

Abraham Lopez, 39, signed up to the Navy in 1997 and was just about to celebrate his 20th year in service when the crash occurred

Lopez was the eldest of the slain crewmembers

Abraham Lopez (left), 39, signed up to the Navy in 1997 and was just about to celebrate his 20th year in service when the crash occurred

The oldest and most experienced of the deceased crew members, Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Lopez joined the navy in 1997 and was just about to celebrate his 20th year in service.

Lopez, of El Paso, was in charge of the ship’s communications, and described himself as a ‘highly motivated technical leader’ on his LinkedIn profile.

Lopez had been stationed in Japan, Spain, Pearl Harbor, San Diego and the Great Lakes before being asigned to the McCain in November 2014, KCBD reported.

He was an an enlisted surface warfare specialist, and had been awarded both a Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement that Lopez and Hoagland ‘represent the best Texas has to offer’ and extended his condolences to their families. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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