A C-2A Greyhound assigned to the Providers of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) on Aug. 22, 2017. The U.S. Navy says it will deploy deep water salvage experts to search for a similar C-2A Greyhound transport aircraft that crashed in the western Pacific last month, killing a Baton Rouge native and two other sailors. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alex Corona, U.S. Navy, via The Associated Press archive) TOKYO — The U.S. Navy said it will deploy deep water salvage experts to search for a transport aircraft that crashed in the western Pacific last month, killing a Baton Rouge native and two other sailors. Eight people were rescued.
The C-2A Greyhound aircraft was traveling to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed the day before Thanksgiving in the Philippine Sea. The plane’s last position on the surface is known, but the depth of the water exceeds 16,000 feet, the Navy said Saturday (Dec. 9).
A salvage team will depart Japan aboard a contracted salvage vessel in the coming days to deploy a pinger locator to try to pick up the aircraft’s emergency location signal. If successful, the Navy said that additional assets will be deployed to recover the aircraft and the fallen sailors. The sailors were identified as Lt. Steven Combs Jr. and Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso of Florida and Airman Matthew Chialastri of Baton Rouge. One of Combs’ sisters, Elizabeth Combs, said her brother was piloting the aircraft and managed to settle it in the sea, allowing for the rescue of the eight people.
The Navy called Combs’ actions “heroic.” The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The Japan-based 7th Fleet has had two fatal naval accidents in Asian waters this year, leaving 17 sailors dead. Eight top Navy officers have been removed from their posts, including the 7th Fleet commander. The battleship USS Arizona sinks after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941. Thursday marked the 76th anniversary of the attack. A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor takes off from a South Korean air base in Gwangju, South Korea on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.