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50 sailors on USS John S. McCain honored for their bravery during 2017 collision

The Navy has awarded fifty sailors for “their bravery and contributions to damage control efforts” after a 2017 collision between the USS John McCain and a merchant ship.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer collided with a 600-foot oil tanker near the Strait of Malacca on Aug. 21, 2017. Ten sailors died as a result of the crash.


After the collision, the McCain’s crew “fought back against progressive flooding across numerous spaces for hours on end,” a Navy press release said.

“Facing constant peril from flooding, electrocution, structural damage and noxious fumes, these Sailors prevented further loss of life and ultimately saved the ship.”

Seven sailors received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal — the highest non-combat award for heroism. Fifteen others received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and 28 received the Navy Achievement Medal. Lakela Granados, a McCain ombudsman, was also given a superior public service award for her support and counseling to sailors after the incident, according to USNI.

“To commemorate on this ship what these men and women did is both notable and fitting, because the memory of their actions represent the toughness and pride of our Navy,” Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a ceremony on Wednesday.

“It also helps remind the next generation of Sailors the moral character, personal sacrifice, and selfless commitment required to not give up the ship.”

The full list of those who were recognized for their efforts is below.

Navy and Marine Corps Medal

  • LT Aaron Van Driessche
  • CWO3 Michael Calhoun
  • DC1 Justin Ramirez
  • DC1 Michael Cooper
  • GSM1 Delando Beckford
  • OS3 Malachi Shannon
  • SH2 Mark Williams

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

  • LT Michael Shofner
  • LTJG Kathryn Hussey
  • LTJG Meghan Meriano
  • CWO2 Joshua Patat
  • GSCS Bryan Hayes
  • DCC Anthony Ebarb
  • DC1 Hosey Brooks
  • HM1 Alan Aaron
  • HM2 Justin Lam
  • HT2 Darwin Dunlap
  • MM1 Nicholas Healy
  • GSM2 Jonathan Spence
  • MM2 Joseph Ligon
  • DC3 Harley Peterson
  • ET2 Royce Black

Navy Achievement Medal

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