Crowd Comes out to Honor USS Fitzgerald Victims

June 27, 2017 Updated: June 27, 2017

About 2,000 people turned out for a funeral service held on June 27 for the seven sailors who died in the USS Fitzgerald disaster.

The mourners including local residents and both U.S. and Japanese military personnel, came to Japan’s Yokosuka naval base, where the ship was based. They lined the streets and saluted as a convoy of buses carrying victims’ family members passed by.

The seven sailors were killed when the U.S. destroyer collided with a cargo ship. It represents the greatest loss of Navy personnel since the USS Cole was bombed by al-Qaeda terrorists in 2000.

The guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Japanese-owned, Philippines-registered container ship, the ACX Crystal. The two collided during the night of June 17.

The two huge ships—the Fitzgerald is over 500 feet long, the ACX Crystal over 700 feet long—should have been lit and visible to one another.

Also, both ships should have been using the latest navigation, location, and detection technology—particularly the destroyer.

Multiple agencies are investigating how the two ships could have collided.