USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor who died of COVID-19 identified

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy on Thursday identified the sailor assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt who died of coronavirus.

Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, died April 13 at U.S. Navy Hospital Guam, the Navy said.

After Thacker tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30, he was removed from the ship and isolated at Naval Base Guam. On April 9, Thacker was found unresponsive during a daily medical check. He was placed in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. He died on April 13.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, the aircraft carrier’s commanding officer.

Our number one priority continues to be the health and well-being of all members of the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group and we remain steadfast in our resolve against the spread of this virus.”

Thacker was from Fort Smith, Arkansas. He leaves behind a spouse who is active duty and stationed in San Diego. His spouse flew to Guam and was by his side when he died.

Former Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly removed Captain Brett Crozier after the ship’s commander wrote a memo warning Navy leadership that “decisive action” was needed to save sailors’ lives amid an outbreak of the virus on the carrier.

“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors,” his memo read in part.

Some lawmakers are now calling for Crozier to be reinstated.

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