Air Force identifies 3 airmen swept out to sea in Okinawa

Flooding is seen at Ikego Housing Area, near Yokosuka Naval Base, on Monday morning, Oct. 6, 2014, after Typhoon Phanfone passed by the Tokyo area.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 7, 2014

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Air Force has identified three of the airmen who were swept out to sea Sunday on the northwest coast of Okinawa by high waves lingering from Typhoon Phanfone.

The body of Senior Master Sgt. James Swartz was recovered a few hours after four airmen were swept into the sea while taking photos of large waves, the Air Force said in a press release Tuesday evening. He was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

A second body was recovered Tuesday morning by the Japan coast guard near the coastline, although no identity was immediately released. Master Sgt. Daniel Paschal and Staff Sgt. Joshua Schoenhoff had been listed as missing Sunday.

Another airman was able to make it back to shore.

Swartz was an aerospace propulsion superintendent with the 116th Air Control Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard, according to the a report from Robins Air Force Base, Ga. It did not say what unit the other men were from, but reported they had been on temporary duty at Kadena Air Base.

The search was again suspended at sunset on Tuesday, with plans to resume on Wednesday morning, the Air Force said.



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