Bodies of US sailors killed in Japan heading to Dover Air Force Base

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Watch the report from Action News at 4:30 p.m. on June 20, 2017. (WPVI)

It's been nearly four days since seven U.S. sailors lost their lives off the coast of Japan. Yet we are no closer to understanding how a massive container ship was able to plow into a sophisticated U.S. destroyer, seemingly without warning.

As the Navy searches for answers, the bodies of the men killed are back in the United States, heading soon to Dover Air Force Base.

The seven American sailors perished early on the morning of June 17th off the coast of Japan.

The bow of a 30,000 ton container ship rammed the 10,000 ton USS Fitzgerald.

The impact crushed a portion of the warships superstructure and tore a hole in its hull below the waterline.

The bodies were flown Tuesday from Japan, and when they arrive at Dover they will be in the care of the Air Force's Mortuary Affairs Operations. It is the unit that traditionally handles the remains of U.S. military personnel killed overseas.

The bodies are brought and prepared for transfer to grieving families.

The oldest of the sailors is 37-year-old Gary Leroy Rehm of Ohio. His family says this was supposed to be his last time at sea. He was due to retire this year. He joined the Navy 20 years ago.

It is unclear what caused the deadly collision. With radar and look outs, how did the cargo ship get so close to the sophisticated missile destroyer?

Multiple investigations have been announced by the U.S. Navy and the Japanese Coast Guard.
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