USS Pittsburgh’s skipper fakes death to escape mistress
Hey look my hometown finally made the news.
Told that her lover had died, the young woman drove for hours to the man’s home in Virginia, traveling with her mother and sister to offer condolences.
But the man who answered the door said her friend, Navy Cmdr. Michael P. Ward II, was alive and hardly ailing: He had moved to Connecticut to take command of a U.S. Navy submarine.
“She was very surprised,” said Jon Boyle, who bought the house from Ward in Burke, Va.
An investigation by the Navy found that had Ward faked his own death to end the eight-month affair, according to documents obtained Tuesday by
The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request. Ward was dismissed as commanding officer of the USS Pittsburgh in August, a week after taking command of the attack submarine.
Investigators found that Ward sent his mistress an email from a fictitious person named Bob in July, posing as a co-worker and saying that Ward had died unexpectedly.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh’s submarine group in Groton, said Ward has received a letter of reprimand for adultery and other military violations. Details of the affair were first reported by The Day of New London.
Oh. For all the wrong reasons.
Ward was found guilty of Uniform Code of Military Justice violations on Sept. 5, including dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct and adultery, and received the punitive letter of reprimand, Cragg said.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, a Democrat whose eastern Connecticut district includes the submarine base, said it is a sad situation.
“The Navy doesn’t kid around with its leadership,” he said. “These positions, to command submarines, are very competitive and I think the Navy is right to hold people to the highest standard.”