Local high school grad among those still missing after destroyer crash

Sailor John Hoagland and mother Cynthia Kimball
Sailor John Hoagland and mother Cynthia Kimball(KWTX)
Published: Aug. 22, 2017 at 6:14 PM CDT
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A graduate of Shoemaker High School in Killeen is among the nine sailors still missing Thursday in the aftermath of a collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and an oil tanker on Monday.

Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, whose home of record was in Cleveland, north of Houston, graduated from Shoemaker in 2015.

Fernanda Doctors, a friend, says Hoagland, who participated in JROTC during his four years in high school in Killeen, was sweet, kind and reliable.

Hoagland's mother, Cynthia Kimball, who now lives in Georgia, said her son placed a quote on social media that encapsulates his attitude about his service.

It reads: "I've been to a few gorgeous places since I've made it out to the Fleet (which, let's be honest, a good few of us in A school were convinced was a myth). But man, I still can't get over just looking out over the ocean, or staring up at all of the stars at night. I think those two things are at the top of my list of favorite reasons for going Navy over any other branch."

The Killeen ISD released a statement Thursday expressing condolences to the missing sailor’s family.

Any time that we have any form of tragedy that pertains to a recent Killeen ISD High School graduate, but anyone, shape or form of our armed services, our heartfelt condolences go out,” Killeen Superintendent Dr. John Craft said.

“We just would like to share, the family and those that have been impacted in the tragedy, are definitely in our hearts and our minds, and we’re offering our blessings to those who have been impacted.”

A second sailor from Texas, Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, of El Paso, is also among the missing.

He graduated from Irvin High School in El Paso and enlisted in the Navy in 1997

Hoagland and Lopez "represent the best Texas has to offer," Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement in which he extended condolences to his family.

The collision Monday between the USS John McCain and the tanker left a gaping hole in the destroyer’s left rear hull and flooded adjacent compartments.

Searchers recovered the remains of one of the 10 sailors reported missing the collision.

He was identified Thursday as Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from Cherry Hill, N.J.

The multi-national search for the missing was discontinued Thursday, but Navy and Marine Corps divers will continue to search flooded compartments of the ship for the missing.

"After more than 80 hours of multinational search efforts, the U.S. Navy suspended search and rescue efforts for missing USS John S. McCain sailors in an approximately 2,100-square mile area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore," the Navy said in a press release.

Missing Sailors

- Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Kansas City, Missouri

- Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from Texas

- Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Maryland

- Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Ohio

- Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Maryland

- Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from New York

- Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Connecticut

- Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Texas

- Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Illinois