The Navy identified the sailors who died in a Nov. 22 crash of a C-2A Greyhound in the Western Pacific as Lt. Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Airman Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso. (U.S. Navy photos)
The U.S. Navy has identified the three sailors who were killed in a C-2A Greyhound crash on Wednesday in the western Pacific Ocean.
They were identified as Lt. Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso.
The prop-driven transport plane carrying 11 personnel as well as cargo went down around 2:30 p.m. local time about 500 nautical miles southwest of Okinawa en route from Japan to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Eight personnel were rescued from the scene within an hour.
Navy and Japanese ships and aircraft launched a massive search for the missing personnel near the crash site, located about 90 miles northwest of the Japanese atoll of Okinotorishima. The effort was called off on Friday.
“The thoughts and prayers of the entire team onboard Ronald Reagan go out to the families and friends of our fallen shipmates,” Capt. Michael Wosje, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW 5), said in a release on Saturday.
“We are thankful for our professional search and rescue teams and their incredible bravery,” he added. “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 to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
The Reagan was operating in the Philippine Sea during a joint exercise with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The fatal incident marks the latest involving the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. This summer, 17 sailors died in two separate incidents in which naval destroyers collided with commercial vessels. After the deadly accidents, the Navy sacked a number of leaders in the 7th Fleet, including the commander, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin.
Combs, a Florida native, was assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and served aboard Ronald Reagan as part of Carrier Air Wing Five, according to the Navy. His previous duty assignments include the “Greyhawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H., and Training Wing 4, in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Navy said. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon and the Navy Battle “E” Ribbon, the service said.
Chialastri, a Louisiana native, was assigned to Ronald Reagan, according to the Navy. His previous duty stations include USS America (LHA 6), Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), the “Pro’s Nest,” in Jacksonville, Florida, and the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Navy said. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon, the service said.
Grosso, a Florida native, was assigned to Ronald Reagan, according to the Navy. His previous duty stations include the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida, and the Naval Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, the Navy said. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon, the service said.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
— Brendan McGarry can be reached email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
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