An Illinois man is among the sailors reported missing after a high-tech U.S. Navy destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday.
Third Class Petty Officer Logan Palmer, from Niantic, Illinois, is one of the ten sailors unaccounted for after the USS John S. McCain collided with the oil tanker, ripping a gaping hole in the warship’s hull.
Five sailors were injured in the incident, and divers recovered the remains of some of the missing sailors in a flooded compartment of the ship, though the number of bodies found and the identities of the deceased were not released.
Meanwhile, Palmer’s family – and seemingly his entire community in the small town just outside Decatur – waits for an update, hoping for the best.
Palmer enlisted in the Navy as a Communications Electrician Third Class Petty Officer in April 2016. Prior to joining the military, he was an Eagle Scout for Troop 43, where Chaplain Tim Lee described him as a leader whose legacy in the scouts endured after he left town.
"He definitely was a role model," Lee said. "He was one that the younger boys looked at, you know, and said, 'I wanna be like Logan, I wanna do that.'"
Palmer may have been sleeping in one of the berths, or in one of the communications rooms at the time of the collision, officials said, as search and rescue operations continued.
In his small hometown of under 700 people, Lee said there is a prayer chain that stretches beyond their village, extending hope and faith that Palmer’s family can find closure and even peace.
"We want to hope for the best,” Lee said. “But you know, probably realizing that Logan has been called home, if you will."
As families and loved ones of the missing wait for news, Navy officials ordered a pause in operations worldwide for the next couple of days for a global safety check, and have said a full investigation into the collision – the second in two months – will be conducted.