Friday, 26 April 2019 09:08

Charges dropped against USS Fitzgerald captain

558 USS Fitzgerald 678x381


On 11 April the US Navy dropped a charge of negligent homicide and other offences against Commander Bryce Benson, captain of the USS Fitzgerald on 17 June 2017 when it collided with the commercial vessel, ACX Crystal, in the waters off Japan’s coast about 80 n miles southwest of Tokyo. Seven US Navy sailors were killed that night. Charges were also dropped against Lieutenant Natalie Combs, the officer in charge of the Command Information Centre and responsible for advising the bridge on collision avoidance. Both Cmdr. Benson and Lt. Combs received letters of censure, with the common feature that their ineffective leadership and poor judgement or communication were causal factors in the collision. Letters of censure acknowledge acts of wrongdoing but have no legal ramifications.



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