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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Navy Engineman 3rd Class David M. Mudge

Died November 28, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


22, of Sutherlin, Ore.; died Nov. 28, when he was electrocuted while working in a machinery space aboard the guided missile frigate Rentz while on a port call in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

Rentz sailor electrocuted aboard ship

Staff report

SAN DIEGO — A sailor assigned to the frigate Rentz died Saturday after being electrocuted while working in a machinery space during a port call in the Persian Gulf, Navy officials said Monday.

Navy officials identified the sailor as Engineman 3rd Class David M. Mudge, 22, who suffered fatal wounds “due to electric shock” while doing repairs in an auxiliary machinery space, Naval Surface Forces officials said in a statement. Mudge, of Sutherlin, Ohio, died despite resuscitation efforts and was pronounced dead at the Jebel Ali International hospital in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

Navy officials are investigating the incident.

Mudge joined the Navy in January 2007 and served aboard the frigate McClusky before reporting to Rentz in July 2009, said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, a Naval Surfaces Forces spokesman in Coronado, Calif.

Rentz, a San Diego-based ship, is deployed with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group.


Took advantage of the chance to travel the world

The Associated Press

David Mudge liked traveling, and trying new cuisines or “anything that wasn’t what he had at home,” his brother said.

Mudge joined the Navy to see the world after a childhood of listening to his uncles and other relatives share stories about serving in the military. On the USS Rentz, Mudge was able to see the ancient pyramids in Egypt, a sight that left him in awe, his brother said.

“The sheer size of them and the age of them and everything just blew him away,” Curtis Mudge said. “Pictures didn’t do it justice.”

David Mudge, 22, of Sutherlin, Ore., was killed Nov. 28 in an electrical accident aboard the USS Rentz. The ship was at Port Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, when Mudge died.

He grew up in a large, close-knit family, and he graduated from the Phoenix School in Roseburg, Ore. At age 19, he enlisted in the Navy.

“He was looking for something to do with his life that he would be able to be proud of,” said Curtis Mudge. “He always looked up to the fact that our family was military oriented.”

Mudge is survived by his parents, Larry and Judy Mudge; sisters Sarah Washburn, Allison Tomlinson and Angelica Mudge; and brothers Brian, Curtis and Jed.

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