Dakota Rigsby is the first sailor to be named as a victim of the disaster, which happened 56 miles south west of Yokosuka in the early hours of Saturday.
He and six other sailors were found dead in their sleeping cabins after the USS Fitzgerald was struck by the 29,000-ton container ship ACX Crystal on Saturday.
Two sleeping compartments, the captain’s cabin and an engine room were flooded when the container ship tore hit the navy vessel.
The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin said the £1.1billion ship would have sunk if it were not for the crew’s quick efforts to save it.
It was eventually towed back to its base in Yokosuka by US tug boats after a 16-hour struggle.
Today Admiral Aucoin said that the loss “is something we all feel” and it could be up to a year until the ship sails again.
The US and Japan have launched investigations into how a ship as large as the ACX Crystal could crash into the USS Fitzgerald in clear conditions.
Marine traffic records have revealed the Filipino cargo boat made a sudden U-turn 25 minutes before the collision but it is not clear why.
Three of the 285 US crew members, including the ship’s commanding officer Bryce Benson, were injured.
Mr Bryson is in a stable condition in the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka.
The other two escaped with cuts and bruises.