The Navy on Saturday identified the three sailors who disappeared after their plane went down off the coast of Japan.
The lost trio are Lt. Steven Combs of Florida, Matthew Chialastri of Louisiana, and Bryan Grosso of Florida, officials said.
The men were among the 11 passengers and crew members on board the C-2A Greyhound when it crashed in the Philippine Sea Wednesday afternoon.
The Navy suspended its search for the missing sailors on Thursday after scouring some 1,000 square nautical miles.
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“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these sailors,” Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet, said in a statement.
“Their service and sacrifice will be lasting in Seventh Fleet and we will continue to stand the watch for them, as they did bravely for all of us.”
The survivors of the crash were listed in good condition, and the cause was under investigation, officials said.
“The entire Navy team is working together to investigate the cause of this mishap and we will remain focused on our mission to operate forward in a safe and professional manner,” Capt. Michael Wosj, the commander of Carrier Air Wing Five, said in the Seventh Fleet’s statement.
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Chialastri, an aviation boatswain’s mate airman, was the valedictorian of his 2013 graduating class at Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge, La., according to the New York Times.
“He was dependable, he was loyal,” one of his high school ROTC teachers, Sgt. First Class Jill Pearl, told the paper. “He could handle any situation that you put him in. And it just looked like he did it with such ease.”
Grosso, an aviation ordnanceman airman apprentice, appeared to have graduated from recruit training just a few months ago, the Times reported.
The crash marks the fifth accident suffered by the Seventh Fleet based out of Yokosuka, Japan.
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Two prior naval destroyer crashes killed a total of 17 people.
The Navy dismissed Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, the head of the Seventh Fleet, in August after determining that the mishaps were avoidable.
With News Wire Services.
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