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Sailors who died in McCain collision receive posthumous promotions

By TYLER HLAVAC | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 31, 2017

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Navy has posthumously promoted the 10 USS John S. McCain sailors who were killed Aug. 21 when the guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship just east of Singapore.

The Navy announced the following promotions Thursday:

  • Charles Nathan Findley, 31, of Kansas City, Mo., was posthumously advanced to chief petty officer.
  • Abraham Lopez, 39, of El Paso, Texas, was posthumously advanced to chief petty officer.
  • Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, of Gaithersburg, Md., was posthumously advanced to petty officer first class.
  • Corey George Ingram, 28, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., was posthumously advanced to petty officer first class.
  • Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, of Cable, Ohio, was posthumously advanced to petty officer second class. Drake had been selected for promotion and authorized to wear the rank of a second class petty officer, but had not yet been advanced.
  • Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, of Manchester, Md., was posthumously advanced to petty officer second class. Eckels had been selected for promotion and authorized to wear the rank of a second class petty officer, but had not yet been advanced.
  • Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, of Suffield, Conn., was posthumously advanced to petty officer second class.
  • John Henry Hoagland III, 20, of Killeen, Texas, was posthumously advanced to petty officer second class.
  • Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, of Decatur, Ill., was posthumously advanced to petty officer second class.
  • Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from Cherry Hill, N.J., was posthumously advanced to petty officer second class.

The Yokosuka-based guided-missile destroyer was traveling to Singapore for a routine port visit when it collided with a Liberian-flagged oil tanker, injuring five sailors and leaving 10 missing.

The Navy announced Monday it had recovered the bodies of all 10 sailors.

Four of the injured sailors, who had been flown from the ship to a Singapore hospital to be treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, have returned to their unit, the service said last week. The fifth injured sailor did not require further medical treatment after the collision.

Fallout from the collision resulted in the dismissal of then-7th Fleet commander Vice. Adm. Joseph Aucoin and a one-day safety stand-down observed by units across the Navy on an individual basis.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

hlavac.tyler@stripes.com

The crest of the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain modified with the traditional black ribbon signifying remembrance or mourning.
JASON KELLY/U.S. NAVY

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