Marine Corps identifies boating fatality as 24-year-old sergeant
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — The Marine who died early Saturday when the boat he was in capsized in waters near Marine Corps Base Hawaii has been identified as Sgt. Jaylon T. Walker, 24, the Marine Corps said Monday.
Honolulu Fire Department personnel responded to the report of a missing swimmer at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday and learned that a 17-foot boat had overturned with three men aboard. The other two managed to swim to shore.
Searchers found Walker about 8:30 a.m., underwater and unconscious. He was later declared dead.
Walker served as an aircraft electronic communications system technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, Oahu Island.
“Sgt. Walker was a fine Marine and will be truly missed by everyone here in the squadron,” Lt. Colonel Robert Flannery, commanding officer of MALS 24, said in a statement. “We honor his service and his contribution to the Marine Corps and our nation.”
Walker was from Garland, Texas, and reported to active duty June 13, 2011, the Marines said.
His personal decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Walker’s fatality in Hawaiian waters closely follows the deaths of 12 Marines who died in January when two helicopters crashed off Oahu’s North Shore.
Salvage operations are underway for debris, and possibly human remains, from the helicopters.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.