The Navy has identified sailors lost in Philippine Sea crash

The U.S. Navy has identified three soldiers who were lost in a plane crash in the Philippine Sea on Wednesday. Eight sailors were rescued within 45 minutes of the crash about 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa Island at about 2:45 p.m. (12:45 a.m. ET) Wednesday, the Navy has said.

The Navy said the twin-propeller C2-A Greyhound aircraft plummeted into the sea about 925 kilometers southeast of Okinawa while it was on a routine mission taking passengers and cargo from a USA base in Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

After notifying the families, the Navy identified the men: Lt. Steven Combs of Florida, Airman Matthew Chialastri of Louisiana, and Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso, also of Florida.

Phil Sawyer, commander of USA 7th Fleet, in a statement released Saturday.

A total of 11 crew and passengers were headed to an aircraft carrier when the plane crashed into the Philippine Wednesday afternoon, the Navy said. His previous duty stations include USS America (LHA 6), Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), the "Pro's Nest", in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon. 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 Thursday that eight U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships, three helicopter squadrons and maritime patrol aircraft had covered almost 1,000 square nautical miles in the two-day search for the missing sailors.

U.S. Navy airman Matthew Chialastri assigned to USS Ronald Reagan is shown
U.S. Navy airman Matthew Chialastri assigned to USS Ronald Reagan is shown. AP

"Their service and sacrifice will be lasting", said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of the 7th Fleet.

The C2-A that crashed belongs to a Japan-based squadron that generally flies cargo and passengers between shore bases and the USS Ronald Reagan. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon.

Later, eight sailors were rescued by the U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron, according to the press release.

Eight Sailors were immediately recovered from the crash and transferred to Ronald Reagan for medical evaluation.All are in good condition at this time.

U.S. President Donald Trump, at his oceanfront Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, said via Twitter that he is monitoring the situation.

An investigation is in progress.

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