The U.S. Navy has identified the three sailors lost in the Philippine Sea on Wednesday after their Navy cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Japan.
The three were identified Saturday as Lt. Steven Combs, a Florida native; Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri, a Louisiana native; and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso, a Florida native.
Their C-2A Greyhound, a twin-engine cargo plane designed to ferry supplies, mail and passengers to and from aircraft carriers, was en route to the carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it went down 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these Sailors,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet. “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.”
Eight sailors were rescued in good condition by U.S. Navy helicopters during a two-day search effort led by the USS Ronald Reagan and joined by units of the Japanese self-defense force. The search by ships and aircraft covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles, the Navy said in a statement.
Military officials are investigating the cause of the crash.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters Wednesday that he had been informed by the U.S. military that the plane may have gone down because of engine trouble.