The U.S. Navy posthumously promoted the seven Sailors who died aboard USS Fitzgerald.
The bodies of the Navy Sailors were found by Navy divers June 18 in a flooded berthing compartment after the destroyer crashed with a Philippine merchant ship off the coast of Japan.
San Diego natives Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, and Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Sibayan were, 23, were among the seven to be posthumously promoted.
Douglass was advanced to Yeoman Petty Officer 2nd Class and Sibayan was advanced to Fire Controlman Petty Officer 1st Class, according to the U.S. Navy.
Douglass was born at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Okinawa and went back to Japan every year. He learned to speak Japanese fluently. His father, a decorated U.S. Marine, was proud to have his son report for duty aboard the USS Fitzgerald.
He was described by loved ones as a caring brother, grandson, and friend who loved the U.S. Navy.
Sibayan was less than a month from returning home when he died. He had served in the U.S. Navy for four years and had spent three of those years in Japan. His mother told NBC 7 her son was a hero and she was 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.”
The other Sailors were also promoted:
- Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Va., was posthumously advanced to Petty Officer 3rd Class
- Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc Huynh, 25, of Oakville Conn., was advanced to Petty Officer 2nd Class
- Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Tex., was advanced to Petty Officer 1st Class
- Personnel Specialst 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Md., was advanced to Chief Petty Officer
- Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Rehm, 37, of Elyria, Ohio, was advanced to Chief Petty Officer.