Over the weekend, family and friends took to social media to offer tributes for the five sailors who died last Tuesday, August 31st, when they crashed into the Pacific Ocean.
The MH-60S helicopter plunged during what the Navy claimed to be only a routine flight operation 70 miles off the coast of San Diego.
Five other sailors were also injured aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, where the aircraft was operating before the crash. Those sailors were in stable conditions as of Saturday, stated Lt. Samuel R. Boyle, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet.
Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class James P. Buriak
Naval Air Crewman 2nd class James Philip Buriak, age 31, grew up in Salem, Virginia, where he attended Salem High School and Roanoke College.
He joined the Navy in 2017 and became a rescue swimmer assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8.
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns, age 31, was from Severna Park, Maryland.
Sunday morning, the governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, paid tribute to Burns on Twitter.
“I ask all Marylanders to join me in sending our deepest condolences to the family of U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns of Severna Park and her four fellow sailors who were killed in last week’s tragic helicopter crash… Fair winds and following seas.”
Lt. Bradley A. Foster
Lt. Bradley A. Foster, age 29, was from Oakhurst, California. He was an Eagle Scout and a graduate of the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo, California.
“Brad Foster represents the very best of Cal Maritime, both during his time at our academy and later in his service to the nation… Enthusiastic, optimistic, and mature beyond his years, Brad took the road less traveled.” – Cal Maritime President Tom Cropper.
Lt. Paul R. Fridley
Lt. Paul R. Fridley, age 28, was from Annandale, Virginia. Many loved ones have offered several tributes on social media.
“Rest In Peace, Paul Fridley. A great Woodson football player from the Class of 2011 and an even better person… Thank you for your service to our country.” – W. T. Woodson High School football team.
“Paul was a man of light… His smile and attitude brought energy and positivity to ever(y) encounter he was a part of. I am thankful to have had him in my life, and I wish nothing but peace and tranquillity for his family and immediate loved ones. God bless him and his family.” – Navid Galt.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, age 21, was from St. Louis, Missouri. According to broadcaster KMOV, he graduated in 2018 from Parkway North High School and was on the wrestling team.
“Biggest heart once you got to know him, would do anything for you… Lit up the room even if things were sad.” – Baileigh Sample, a friend.
“I’m so sorry for your loss, Bailey was a good friend of mine in high school, we were in drawing class, and we geeked out on Star Wars he was really amazing and sweet and I’ll miss him a lot.” – Jana C.
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