A Navy salvage team has recovered the wreckage of a C-2A Greyhound aircraft that crashed on Nov. 22, 2017, in the Philippine Sea, killing three sailors.

The wreckage was brought up from a depth of roughly three nautical miles on May 21, U.S. 7th Fleet officials confirmed.

What caused the Greyhound crash remains unclear.

It was heading to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan when something happened that forced the pilot, Lt. Steven Combs, to land in the water.

Eight of the 11 on board managed to escape, averting what could have been an even worse tragedy.

But Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso died.

A special dive team deployed from the states to help with the recovery, and the Navy had to enlist a contracted salvage vessel to assist with the recovery from nearly unprecedented depths.

While officials said last year that human remains had been recovered but not identified, 7th Fleet spokeswoman Cmdr. Reann Mommsen declined this month to comment on the status of that effort.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families, friends and shipmates of our three fallen Sailors,” she said in an email.

The investigation into the crash remains ongoing as the wreckage is examined, according to Navy officials.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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