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Stories of sailors killed in destroyer-container ship crash

By in Press Enterprise on June 19, 2017

By The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

Among the seven U.S. Navy sailors who died in the Saturday collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged container ship off Japan were an Ohio man expecting to retire soon, a Maryland man who was his father’s best friend, and a former volunteer firefighter in his Virginia hometown.

Here are snapshots of them taken from interviews of family and friends:

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SHINGO ALEXANDER DOUGLASS, California

Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass followed in his father’s footsteps in joining a maritime branch of the military, enlisting in the Navy in 2014.

He started working aboard the destroyer in 2015 and last October joined his shipmates on a visit to an orphanage in South Korea as part of a community service project. Douglass was seen pushing a disabled orphan in a wheelchair, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

His father, Ret. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Stephen Douglass, told the newspaper that his 25-year-old son was an avid videogame player “and a really good kid.”

He had just gotten promoted in May. A 2010 Fallbrook High School graduate in Fallbrook, north of San Diego, he was not married.

“My mind’s going a mile a minute,” Douglass’ father said. “We’re still in sort of a state of shock.”

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NOE HERNANDEZ, Texas

Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez was a tremendous source of pride for his family, a relative told Dallas television station KTVT.

“We all came from poverty in Guatemala. He was the one who made it,” said cousin Aly Hernandez-Singer. “We lived through his experiences. His travels.”

The 26-year-old Hernandez, of Weslaco, Texas, had been stationed in Illinois, Italy, California and Japan since joining the Navy in 2009.

He died in the collision from a head injury as he slept, Hernandez-Singer told the TV station.

She said Hernandez met his wife, Dora, in high school — “his first love … his only […]    

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