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US Air Force identifies F-15 pilot killed in North Sea crash

1st Lt. Kenneth Allen, assistant chief of weapons and tactics for the 493rd Fighter Squadron, who died in an F-15 fighter jet crash near RAF Lakenheath on June 15, 2020. (Kage Allen/Facebook)
June 16, 2020

The U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle pilot who was killed in a crash on Monday has been identified.

RAF Lakenheath released a statement confirming the death of 1st Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen, assistant chief of weapons and tactics for the 493rd Fighter Squadron.

Allen was flying the F-15 fighter jet in a routine training mission when the crash occurred. The cause is still unknown at this time and is under investigation.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lt. Allen, and mourn with his family and his fellow Reapers in the 493rd Fighter Squadron. The tremendous outpouring of love and support from our communities has been a ray of light in this time of darkness,” said Col. Will Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander.

Allen, 27, was a newlywed and had been assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron under the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath since February 2020.

He is survived by his wife, Hannah Allen, and his parents.

“Kage was perfect, never been treated with more love and respect in my life. He was my absolute best friend,” Hannah Allen wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “He was so Christ like in how he cared for others. I feel beyond blessed to have loved him in this life and can’t wait to love him for eternity.”

The crash took place at 9:40 BST, and was announced at 6:26 a.m. EST, just over two hours later. The wreckage of the plane and Allen’s remains were initially missing, and search and rescue crews were deployed. On Monday afternoon, Allen remains were found and he was confirmed dead.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm the pilot of the downed F-15C Eagle has been located, and confirmed deceased,” Marshall said. “This is a tragic loss for the 48th Fighter Wing community, and our deepest condolences go out to the pilot’s family and the 493rd Fighter Squadron.”

Allen was assigned to the 493d Fighter Squadron, nicknamed “The Grim Reapers,” which is part of the 48th Fighter Wing “Liberty Wing” stationed at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, approximately 80 miles northeast of London.

The 48th Fighter Wing is the only U.S. F-15 fighter wing in Europe.