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Miroslav S Zilberman


U.S. Navy

LT, VAW 121


A Navy pilot whose family came to this country to make a better life for him has been declared dead after a plane crash in the Arabian Sea.

Lieutenant Zilberman was assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, based at Naval Base Norfolk, Va.; died after his E-2C Hawkeye crashed into the Arabian Gulf on March 31, 2010. The recovery effort was abandoned on April 2, 2010 and his body was not recovered.

The body of Lientenant Miroslav “Steven” Zilberman, 31, was not recovered after his E-2C Hawkeye crashed Wednesday, Pentagon officials announced. The search for Zilberman was abandoned Friday, they said.

Zilberman, who also went by Steven or his childhood nickname, Slavic, came to the Columbus area from Ukraine in 1991 with his parents. He was a 1997 graduate of Bexley High School, where he ran cross country and competed in wrestling.

He joined the Navy after graduation, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Gregory Sokolov, who was a major in the Soviet Army in World War II. The family was profiled in a 1997 Dispatch story about Zilberman’s decision to join the military.

Family members declined to talk to a reporter when contacted at their home in Bexley yesterday.

The Navy said Saturday that Lt. Zilberman’s plane went down in the North Arabian Sea after it “experienced mechanical malfunctions.” Three other crew members survived the crash without significant injuries.

The E-2C Hawkeye is used primarily to detect incoming aircraft. Zilberman was assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 121.

Zilberman’s mother, Anna Sokolov, told The Dispatch in 1997 that she was nervous about her son joining the military. One of the reasons the couple decided to come to America was so he would not face compulsory military service.

She had a change of heart after he completed boot camp, however.

“When I saw him at the graduation, I was really proud of him.”


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