PETTY OFFICER 1st CLASS JAMES REYHER – US NavyHometown: Caldwell, Ohio
Date of Death: February 26, 2013
Branch: US Navy
Unit: Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va.
CALDWELL — The community of Noble County was in mourning after the untimely death last week of one of its sons in the service of his country.
U.S. Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher, 28, of Caldwell, was one of two Navy divers who perished last Tuesday (Feb. 26, 2013) during what the Navy said were routine diving operations in the Aberdeen Underwater Test Facility known as the “Super Pond” near Baltimore, Md.
The other victim was Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris, of Gladstone, Mo. The fatal incident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Mr. Reyher, a graduate of Shenandoah High School at Sarahsville, was called “an exceptional sailor” by Deputy Commander Capt. John Coffey.
Mr. Reyher leaves his wife, Diana R. Kafury Reyher, and his parents, Steven Lee and Gale Reyher of Quaker City and Julie A. and Don Crock of Caldwell, in addition to many siblings and other family members.
Mr. Reyher and Mr. Harris were assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va.
The test facility at Aberdeen is used to conduct shock testing of vessels, submarine systems and munitions, the Navy said. With a bottom measuring 300 feet in diameter and a maximum depth of 150 feet, the facility also has been used in testing torpedoes, missiles, warheads, amphibious and remotely controlled vehicles, underwater gun firing and acoustics.
The two sailors who perished belonged to a unit whose salvage operations have included TWA Flight 800, Swiss Air Flight 111, the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, and the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. The unit also provided damage assessments and repairs on the USS Cole and participated in humanitarian missions following Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti.