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Pictured: US Air Force F15 crash pilot - 1st Lt Kenneth Allen
16 June 2020, 10:13
The pilot of a US fighter jet which crashed into the North Sea has been identified as 1st Lieutenant Kenneth Allen as his heartbroken wife pays tribute to the downed airman.
The US Air Force F15C Eagle, from the 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, crashed on Monday while on a routine training exercise.
HM Coastguard and RNLI lifeboats were involved in a search and rescue operation in an attempt to recover the aircraft and pilot.
In a statement on Tuesday morning, RAF Lakenheath confirmed the pilot killed crash was 1st Lieutenant. Kenneth Allen, who joined the Wing in February 2020 where he was the assistant chief of weapons and tactics for the 493rd Fighter Squadron.
In a moving tribute on Facebook Lt Allen's wife Hannah, said she was "shaking" and that "no words" could express how she was feeling.
Mrs Allen said, "no words to express how shaken I am. Kage was perfect, never been treated with more love and respect in my life. He was my absolute best friend and man Christ needs hurry up and come back so I can be with Kage again."
Colonel Will Marshall the commander of the 48th Fighter Wing said: “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."
Lt. Allen is survived by his wife and parents.
The F15C is a model of jet that has been used by the US Air Force since 1979.
RAF Lakenheath is the "largest US Air Force-operated base in England and the only US air forces in Europe F15 fighter wing", its website said.
The 48th Fighter Wing, which has operated from the base since 1960, has more than 4,500 "active-duty military members".
Its mission statement is to "provide worldwide responsive combat airpower and support".
In October 2014, an F15D fighter jet based at RAF Lakenheath crashed in fields near Spalding in Lincolnshire.