NORFOLK- Petty Officer Mark A. Mayo, the sailor killed while protecting another sailor on the USS Mahan at Naval Station Norfolk on March 24th, will be posthumously awarded the Navy Marine Corps Medal on Friday.
Vice-Admiral Mark Ferguson will present the award to Mayo's family in a private ceremony prior to his burial at Arlington National Ceremony this Friday.
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism by the Navy. Mayo enlisted in the Navy in October 2007 and was assigned to Naval Station Norfolk in 2011.
Jeffrey Savage, a 35-year old ex-convict with no authorization to be on base, attempted to board the destroyer USS Mahan around 11 p.m. on March 24th for reasons that remain unclear. The petty officer of the watch confronted Savage, who was described as behaving erratically, with a verbal warning and drew her 9mm sidearm. Savage grabbed her pistol in an ensuing struggle.
Mayo, the chief of the guard, raced to the scene as the assault unfolded. The now-armed Savage was poised to shoot the female sailor when Mayo rushed in and, placed himself between them, said a security officer familiar with the tragedy, who like two others asked for anonymity while the investigation continues.
Mayo was shot once in the front, then spun to cover the sailor and was shot three times in the back, the officer said.
Another security force member, armed with a 9mm pistol, and the Mahan’s topside rover, armed with an M4 rifle, arrived as these events unfolded and opened fire. Savage was shot three times and died.