The US Navy SEAL killed in Iraq on Tuesday was Charles Keating IV, a scion of the family that was prominent both for finances and for swimming.
According to Department of Defense officials, a SEAL was killed by “direct fire” from Islamic State forces while serving as an advisor to Kurdish officials who were fighting ISIS north of Mosul.
Initial Pentagon reports did not name the SEAL who was killed, but other media outlets identified Keating later in the day. Keating was 31 year-old and serving with Navy Special Warfare Group 2, located in Coronado, California.
While many readers may recognize that name primarily due to the Saving & Loans scandal that made headlines in the United States in the 1980s, those who have been involved with the swimming community for a long time also know that the Keating family has a storied history with the sport.
Keating IV’s grandfather, Charles Keating Jr., won a NCAA title in the 200 breaststroke in 1945. Charles Keating III was also a breaststroker, and swam in the 1976 Olympics taking 5th in the 200 breast.
The Keating family is also related to the Hall family of Olympic swimmers, as Gary Hall Sr. married Mary Keating, the daughter of Keating Jr. Hall Sr. won Olympic golds and set several world records, and now runs the Race Club in Islamorada, FL. His son, Gary Hall Jr., represented the United States in three straight Olympic Games, accumulating a total of five gold medals.
According to an older article at azcentral.com, Charles Keating IV, known as “Charlie” or “C4,” was more of a runner than a swimmer, having success in track at the high school level.
Keating is the third US service member killed fighting ISIS since 2014. The Pentagon said that more information will be released once after next-of-kin notification is complete.
The SwimSwam staff would like to extend our condolences to the Keating and Hall families.