Missing Sailors Now Identified After U.S. Navy Calls Off Search

After a military service cargo plane crashed in the Philippine Sea just southeast of Japan, en-route to the USS Ronald Reagan, eleven sailors were needing rescue.

Eight passengers were quickly recovered from the crash, but three sailors were still missing.

Days later, the U.S. Navy called off the search and CBS News reports those who are still missing have been identified: Lt. Steven Combs of Florida, Airman Matthew Chialastri of Louisiana and Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso, also of Florida.

Eight sailors were rescued about 40 minutes after the C-2A Greyhound crashed southeast of Okinawa and were transferred to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier for medical evaluation. They are all in good condition.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these Sailors,” U.S. Seventh Fleet commander Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer said in the Saturday statement identifying the three missing men.  “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 cargo plane failed to reach the aircraft carrier because of what some people believe to be an engine failure, causing the plane to unexpectedly go down; the Japanese Navy helped in the recovery effort:

The twin-propeller plane came down about 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement. The cause wasn’t clear and the crash was being investigated, the Navy said.

The USS Ronald Reagan led the combined search and rescue efforts with Japanese navy, the U.S. Navy said in a statement. During the course of the two-day search, eight U.S. Navy and Japanese navy ships, three helicopter squadrons and maritime patrol aircraft covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles in the search for the missing sailors, the U.S. Navy said.