Peter Mims poses for a photo after being frocked to the rank of petty officer third class during a ceremony aboard the USS Shiloh May 25. (COURTESY PHOTO)
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS Shiloh sailor who sparked a massive three-day search after appearing to have fallen off the ship only to be later found in the ship’s engine room is now facing court-martial.
Navy spokesman Cmdr. Clay Doss told Stars and Stripes in an email Monday that Petty Officer 3rd Class Peter Mims, who served as a gas turbine systems technician on the Yokosuka-based guided-missile cruiser, has been held in the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Brig since June 21 in anticipation of possible court martial charges.
Doss said further details will be released pending an investigation but added that early indications are that Mims was actively trying to avoid sailors who were searching for him on the ship. Doss said the investigation is expected to conclude in mid-July.
Mims was found missing June 8 at 9:30 p.m. and was presumed to have fallen overboard the ship. Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japan Coast Guard ships spent more than 50 hours searching for Mims, the Navy said. Helicopters and other aircraft from the Shiloh, USS McCampbell, USS Barry, USS John S. McCain and the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan assisted in the search before it was suspended June 11, with the presumption that he was lost at sea.
The Shiloh crew even continued searching the ship after surface and air searches were canceled, and the crew was in the process of planning a memorial service for Mims when he was found in the ship’s engineering room, according to Navy statements.
Mims joined the Navy in February 2014 and reported to the Shiloh the following August. His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and Sea Service Ribbon, according to the Navy.
Mims was presumed to have been the second sailor in a week to fall overboard a ship. On June 6, Petty Officer Christopher Clavin of the USS Normandy was reported missing while the ship trained off the North Carolina coast. Navy and Coast Guard ships searched for Clavin for more than 76 hours, officials said.
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