This isn’t the way a Navy aviator is supposed to leave his vessel, especially when it’s a behemoth like the 100,000-ton USS Harry S Truman. But on Tuesday morning, about 10 a.m., Captain Tushar Tembe collapsed as he was leaving the ship he had commanded for the past three months as it was undergoing maintenance in Norfolk. He died before he reached the hospital. Tembe, 49, was a native of India who came to the U.S. as a child, attended college in Texas, and ended up flying F-18 fighters. He is survived by his wife and two children. A cause of death has not yet been determined.
What’s amazing today is how quickly memorial websites pop up following a tragedy like this:
— My husband is currently on the Truman and has nothing but good things to say about Captain Tembe. My prayers are with his family and shipmates. May he rest in peace.
— Thank you for your leadership and guidance during our time together on IKE. Best XO I ever served with… Rest in peace, Skipper.
– There is a port of no return, where ships may ride at anchor for a little space.
And then some starless night the cable slips, leaving only an eddy at the mooring place.
Gulls veer no longer, Sailor rest your oar.
No tangled wreckage will be washed ashore.”
Thanks for your service to your adopted land, Captain.