Stories of sailors killed in destroyer-container ship crash
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:
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.”
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 […]