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Truman CO dies after collapsing

Nov. 9, 2011 - 02:09PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 9, 2011 - 02:09PM  |  
Harry S. Truman commanding officer Capt. Tushar R. Tembe died Tuesday at a Portsmouth, Va., hospital, according to the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
Harry S. Truman commanding officer Capt. Tushar R. Tembe died Tuesday at a Portsmouth, Va., hospital, according to the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot newspaper. (Navy)
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The Navy has confirmed the death of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman's skipper.

Capt. Tushar R. Tembe died suddenly at a Portsmouth, Va., hospital Tuesday morning after collapsing as he was leaving the ship, moored at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth.

Tembe, 49, was debarking at roughly 10 a.m. when he fell, according to Naval Air Force Atlantic. The carrier's medical team provided immediate medical assistance. Tembe was then transported to Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, where he was pronounced dead, AIRLANT said.

The cause of Tembe's death has not been determined, AIRLANT spokesman Mike Maus said.

Tembe, a former Navy test pilot who assumed command of Truman in August, is survived by his wife and two sons.

"We offer our sincere condolences to Capt. Tembe's wife and children, his family and the Truman crew," said Rear Adm. Ted Branch, AIRLANT commander. "They are in our thoughts and our prayers as we deal with this tragic loss. Capt. Tembe served the Navy and our nation honorably and with great distinction. We honor his outstanding contributions to our nation."

Plans for a memorial service and funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Tembe, a native of Bombay, India, came to the U.S. as a child and graduated from Texas Tech University. After earning his wings, he flew a variety of aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet. His commands included Strike Fighter Squadron 87 at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., and the amphibious transport dock ship Nashville.

The ship's executive officer, Capt. Craig Clapperton, has temporarily assumed command.

Truman is undergoing repairs at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

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