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Navy identifies Theodore Roosevelt chief who died July 2

The U.S. Navy has identified a sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt who died Thursday “following a medical emergency” aboard the ship.

The Navy has yet to specify the nature of the medical emergency suffered by Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Justin Calderone that prompted his medical evacuation from the ship.

Calderone was declared dead at an unidentified ashore medical facility at 5 a.m. local time.

Officials have also declined to say where the ship was when the Ohio native suffered his medical emergency.

But U.S. 3rd Fleet, based out of the TR’s home port of San Diego, has handled releasing information on Calderone’s death thus far, and the ship had recently been conducting operations in the waters of Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet.

Calderone was stationed on the carrier with Strike Fighter Squadron 146.

“It’s a tragedy to lose a shipmate,” the squadron’s commander, Cmdr. Kevin McNatt, said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and shipmates of Chief Calderon during this difficult time.”

While officials have declined to say what caused the chief’s death, 3rd Fleet statements on his death have noted that “Calderone had been tested for COVID-19 multiple times during the outbreak of the virus aboard the ship earlier this year and those results were consistently negative for COVID-19 throughout the entire deployment.”

The carrier began its deployment in January and was waylaid in Guam for much of this spring after a coronavirus outbreak on the ship.

All told, more than a quarter of the ship’s approximately 5,000 sailors tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Calderone’s death marks at least the second passing of a TR sailor on this cruise.

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Charles Robert Thacker Jr. died April 13 at Naval Hospital Guam due to COVID-19 complications.

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