Navy Halts Search for Bodies From Collision


Officials have halted their search for bodies and debris from the midair collision last week of two Navy planes and are focusing on the task of piecing together clues to determine what caused the worst naval aviation accident since World War II.

Navy officials also have released a complete list of the 27 crewmen aboard the two P-3 Orion turboprop planes in the ill-fated flight. A memorial service is scheduled in honor of the crews at their base, Moffett Naval Air Station, Thursday--exactly a week after the crash.

After combing the sea last week, Navy officials found fuel and debris from the crash, including a piece of one plane’s tail section.


Five Navy ships looked for survivors in the waters 60 miles southwest of San Diego and were joined by a Mexican minesweeper that offered assistance Friday. Navy planes from San Diego, as well as from Moffett, scanned the sea from the sky. By Friday night, the search was halted.

“It represents a tremendous loss when you lose that many professionals, and we take each one of those losses very personally--it just emphasizes to us that what we do is a dynamic, difficult and dangerous business,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Bob Howard, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet’s Naval Air Force.

Navy officials released a list of 19 victims Friday. The other crewmen are:

Petty Officer 2nd Class Aviation Mechanic Ray D. Beckner, 29, Elmwood, Neb.

Lt. Ronald L. Carmody, 27, Tiverton, R.I.

Anti-submarine warfare Airman Brian M. Cerino, 21, Saylorsburg, Penn.

Lt. (j.g.) Martin B. Cox, 27, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Ordnanceman 3rd Class Christopher D. Davis, 20, Rapid City, S.D.

Hydraulics Technician 1st Class Jimmy W. Dyer, 31, Riverside, Calif.

Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Michael L. Germeau, 22, Centralia, Wash.

Lt. Cmdr. Stephen A. Tisdale, 39, San Jose, Calif.