John "CJ" Hoagland III (Credit: WRBL)

Missing Navy sailor on USS John McCain has Georgia ties

A missing Navy sailor who was aboard the USS John McCain during its collision earlier this week has ties to Fort Benning near Columbus, according to media reports. 

John “CJ” Hoagland III’s family told TV station WRBL they’re remaining hopeful but are realistic about the search for the 20-year-old and nine other sailors.

“(Hope) that we’ll hear something good ... but it’s not very likely,” Hoagland’s mother, Cynthia Kimball, told the news station from her home at Fort Benning, where she lives with her husband.

Hoagland worked as an electronics technician. Kimball told KTRK that her son had served on the ship since October 2016.

The family is originally from Killeen, Texas. Hoagland is married, according to his Facebook page. 

The sailors went missing Monday during a collision between their guided-missile destroyer and an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore, the U.S. Navy said in a news release. Authorities suspended the search Thursday in the 2,100-square-mile area east of the Straits of Malacca.

Military dive crews have recovered the remains of one sailor, Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but are still searching for the nine others, officials said. They will continue searching for remains inside the flooded areas of the ship.

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