The seven sailors killed in a collision between a U.S. destroyer and a container ship — including two from the San Diego area — were posthumously promoted, the Navy announced Wednesday.
Their sleeping compartments were flooded after the June 17 collision involving the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan. The ship was heavily damaged but limped back to port, and will be ferried to a dry dock in the U.S. this fall.
Their remains were later returned to the county for burial.
Other promotions were for Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia, to Petty Officer 3rd Class; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut, to Petty Officer 2nd Class; Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas, to Petty Officer 1st Class; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland, to Chief Petty Officer; and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio, to Chief Petty Officer.
Rehm was buried Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery.
Last week, news reports said the Fitzgerald would head back to the United States for repairs.
Reuters indicated the Fitzgerald could move as soon as next month.
“The ship that will be contracted required to pick up Fitzgerald in Yokosuka for the trans-Pacific journey in a move reminiscent of the transport of USS Cole (DDG-67) from Yemen to the East Coast after the 2000 terrorist attack that killed the lives of 17 sailors,” USNI News said.
The destroyer will be towed stateside between mid-September and the end of October, Cmdr. Clay Doss, 7th Fleet spokesman, told Stars and Stripes.
— City News Service
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