BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The U.S. Navy has identified seven sailors killed on a U.S. Naval destroyer off the coast of Japan, one of them is from Baltimore County.
The Navy has identified 24-year-old Personnel Specialist, First Class, Xavier Alec Martin from Halethorpe as one of the sailors who was killed.
The U.S.S. Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship late last week. The sailors were missing after the crash and late last night their bodies were found inside the wreckage of the destroyer.
Darrold Martin is coming to grips with his new reality — a reality without his best friend and only son.
It’s the visit no father of a sailor wants to get. Darrold Martin says when he saw the Navy chaplain at his front door, he knew his only son, was gone forever.
“It’s very hard, he’s my only child, he’s all I have,” says Martin.
The remains of 24-year-old, Personnel Specialist, First Class, Xavier Alec Martin and six other U.S. Navy sailors were found among the wreckage on Saturday.
Navy officials say the U.S.S. Fitzgerald suffered extensive damage during a collision with a container ship near the coast of Japan.
But all grieving father, Darrold Martin can think of, are Martin’s final moments as the ship filled with water.
“He was trying to, but the all comps were down, he was trying to call me then. I thank God that, who wants to hear their child?”
A father and son bond he says was unbreakable. He raised the late serviceman as a single father for most of his life.
Xavier Martin joined the Navy to follow in his father’s footsteps. He was quickly rising in the ranks. But his bright future filled with promise was dimmed in a matter of moments.
Family and friends are flying in to keep him company during this difficult time.
Now on this Father’s Day, a dad awaits for his son’s return home for one last goodbye.
“It just occurred to me call everybody to every dad that I knew, and say ‘Happy Father’s Day.'”
He went on to offer his sympathies to the other grieving families.
The remains of the sailors were transferred to naval hospital Yokosuka. Several other crew members and the captain suffered injuries in the crash.