Final Airman's body recovered

  • Published
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Just hours after beginning their third day of searching Oct. 8, a combined Japanese-U.S. Air Force rescue team recovered the body of the final Airman who had been swept out to sea Oct. 5.

The Airman was discovered in the water a few miles south from where the three Airmen were last spotted on the northwest coast of Okinawa.

The release of the Airman's identity is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.

On Oct. 5, the body of Senior Master Sgt. James Swartz was recovered by the Japan Coast Guard. On Oct. 7, the body of a second Airman, whose identify is also being withheld, was discovered.

A dignified transfer ceremony was held on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Oct. 8, and the three Airmen's remains were flown off of Okinawa via military aircraft.

All three Airmen were TDY to Kadena AB from Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

"We continue to grieve with the family, friends and fellow Airmen of those lost in this tragedy," said Col. Thomas Torkelson, the 18th Wing vice commander. "And we will never leave an Airman behind."