Body of missing Sailor identified as metro Detroit native, Kenneth Smith

Posted at 9:58 AM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 14:59:07-04

Divers have recovered the remains of a Sailor who was a metro Detroit native.

Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, was on board the USS John S. McCain when the ship collided with a Liberian-flagged merchant  vessel on August 21.

Related: Metro Detroit native missing after USS John S. McCain collision in Pacific

The U.S. Navy suspended search and rescue efforts for the other missing sailors in a 2,100-square mile area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. However, divers will continue to search the flooded ship for the missing Sailors.

Kenneth Smith was an Electronics Technician, 3rd Class. Nine other Sailors are still missing.

An investigation is underway to determine what caused the collision.

The  following statement was released by Kenneth's father, Darryl Smith:

On behalf of my entire family, I want to thank all those who have extended their condolences, sympathy
and prayers during this very difficult time.

Kenneth was a great young man, son, and Sailor. He truly loved his family, the Navy, and his shipmates.
I am incredibly proud of his service to our country. He will be greatly missed and I am thankful we had
22 wonderful years together.

As we mourn Kenneth, we would like to recognize and thank so many people for their efforts and
support, especially the brave crew of USS John S. McCain, and all the search and rescue personnel who
are still hard at work with a difficult task.

We would also like to thank the Township of Cherry Hill, the Cherry Hill Police Department and the U.S.
Navy for their support and assistance.

Most important we ask you to keep in your thoughts and prayers all the families and friends of those
affected by this tragedy.

As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family and I respectfully request that you allow us
to grieve in private.

Thank you.

The Smith Family