SAN DIEGO – Services were held Friday, July 7 for the first of two San Diego-area Navy sailors who died in last month’s collision between the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged container ship near Japan.
Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, a 25-year-old 2010 Fallbrook High School graduate who lived in San Diego, was interred at a ceremony at the Miramar National Cemetery. His flag-draped casket was ushered into the ceremony on the back of a motorcycle driven by a SoCal Patriot Guard Rider.
Born in a military hospital in Okinawa, Douglass was described by his family as “an adventurous young man” who loved to travel, was a certified scuba diver and a black belt in karate. He spent many summers in Japan, where he became fluent in Japanese.
“He was shy, but when you actually got to know him, he was eccentric and loved to be the prankster I knew,” Douglass’ younger brother, Sho, told Fox5. “If he was here, he would be thanking all these people for coming … I guess he’s thanking them up in heaven … for everything.”
Douglass’ family told Fox5 the impact of his loss has been muted some by the outpouring of love and support they’ve received from the community.
Services for 23-year-old Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan of Chula Vista were held July 8 at Corpus Christi Parish in Bonita.
Seven sailors, including Sibayan and Douglass, died in the June 17 collision. Most of them were asleep in their berths, which flooded after the bow of the ACX Crystal ripped open a ragged 12-foot by 17-foot hole in the starboard side of the Fitzgerald below the waterline.
An investigation into the cause of the collision is underway. The U.S. Naval Institute Press reported that the Fitzgerald will enter a drydock in Yokosuka later this month, where officials will determine whether the ship can be repaired there in Japan, or will have to return to the U.S.