San Diego

Flags Lowered to Half Staff in Honor of San Diego Sailors Killed in USS Fitzgerald Collision

“If you never met my son, you missed a whole lot,” said a mother of one of the sailors killed in the collision. “In every sense of the word, he is my hero.”

California Governor Jerry Brown has ordered flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the two San Diego sailors killed in the USS Fitzgerald collision.  

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, of Chula Vista, and Yeoman 3rd Class, Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego, were identified as two of the seven killed when the destroyer collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan this past weekend.

"On behalf of all Californians, Governor Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honor Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan and Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, who bravely gave their lives in service to our state and nation," a statement from Brown's office read. "The Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to their families and friends at this difficult time."

The seven bodies were recovered from flooded berths inside the after initially being reported missing. 

Sibayan was less than a month from returning home when he died. The 23-year-old had been in the Navy for four years and spent three of those years in Japan.

His mother, Carmen, told NBC 7 that her son was her hero, and she could not be more proud of him. 

“If you never met my son, you missed a whole lot,” she said. “In every sense of the word, he is my hero.”

Douglass' family released a statement saying they would miss their beloved brother, son, and friend, immensely. 

"We loved him very much and his parents and younger brother will miss him more than words can express," said the family.

His family remembered him as an adventurous young man who was proud of his Japanese and military family background.

He was "thrilled" to go back to Japan in 2014, while reporting for duty to USS Fitzgerald, said the statement. He proudly served his nation.

"He loved to travel, was a certified scuba diver and a Black Belt in karate and played tennis," the family said in a statement. "He was also an avid gamer, studied computer game design and loved to attend Comic Con."

The collision is under investigation. 

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