LAKEWOOD, FL U.S.A.
NAVY PILOT LT, VRC-30, DET 5, MARINE AIR STATION, IWAKUNI, JAPAN
11/22/2017, NEAR OKINAWA, JAPAN
LT Steven “Deet” Combs Jr. lost his life in service to his country on November 22, 2017. The plane he was piloting encountered what is believed to be catastrophic engine failure. LT Combs was forced to make an emergency water landing in the Philippine Sea near Okinawa. In his last moments, LT Steven Combs was looking out for others. LT Combs died saving lives.
“LT Combs’ airmanship was nothing short of heroic.” according to Commander Ronald Flanders.
Steven was born in Bryn Mawr, PA, and grew up in Dalton MA. He graduated from St. Josephs Central High School in Pittsfield, MA in 2007. He graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He was an accomplished alpine skier and racer. He enjoyed flying, traveling, summiting mountains, and sharing laughter with his friends.
He was commissioned in 2011 and reported to Fleet Logistics Squadron 30 in 2015. In addition to his flight duties, he had also served aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan as the detachment’s Assistant Operations and Administration Officer and NATOPS Instructor.
Elizabeth Combs had visited her brother in Japan. She explained that even though he didn’t speak Japanese he handily communicated with the local people with his amazing, welcoming smile. His joyful demeanor had an ever-calming effect on those around him. Steven liked telling his family stories about his life in Japan, and he made every effort to know about their lives at home.
“We are so, so proud of him,” added Elizabeth Combs.