SINGAPORE - The father of a dead US sailor who has been identified said he was "incredibly proud of his service to our country", as the list of the missing crew from USS John S. McCain was released by the US Navy on Thursday (24 Aug).
Divers from the US Navy and Marine Corps divers found the remains of one sailor: Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, who was from New Jersey. Nine others remain missing.
In a media statement released by the US Navy, the family of Mr Smith thanked all those who have extended their condolences, sympathy and prayers.
"Kenneth was a great young man, son, and Sailor. He truly loved his family, the Navy, and his shipmates. 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," wrote Mr Darryl Smith, who is himself an Electronics Technician.
"As we mourn Kenneth, we would like to recognise and thank so many people for their efforts and support, especially the brave crew of USS John S. McCain, and all the search and rescue personnel who are still hard at work with a difficult task.
"Most important we ask you to keep in your thoughts and prayers all the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy."
The family requested for privacy to grieve during this difficult time.
The other nine missing 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
The US statement on Thursday (Aug 24) added that it would continue search and recovery efforts inside flooded compartments in the ship for those still missing, after suspending search-and-rescue operations in the open seas.
The US warship had collided with tanker Alnic MC in Singapore waters on Monday (Aug 21), leaving 10 sailors missing and five injured. All five sailors have been discharged from hospital to return to the command, said the US Navy on Thursday (Aug 24).
The multi-national search-and-rescue efforts began on Monday. Singapore and the US called off the search-and-rescue operations on Thursday evening. The US Navy is focusing efforts on the recovery of bodies within the destroyer.