Monday, December 04, 2006
Major Troy L. Gilbert, USAF, Killed in Action
12/3/2006 - (SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- "Maj. Troy L. Gilbert, the pilot of the Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon engaged in support of coalition ground combat operations that crashed approximately 20 miles northwest of Baghdad Nov. 27, was officially listed as killed in action.
Positive identification was made through DNA analysis by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.
"Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Gilbert family as they grieve the loss of a husband, father, son, son-in-law and Air Force warrior and patriot," said Lt. Gen. Gary North, commander of U.S. Central Command Air Forces. "His loss is felt by Troy's entire Air Force family."
Major Gilbert was flying in direct support of coalition ground combat operations when his plane crashed Nov. 27. Until the positive identification was made on Dec. 1 from human remains recovered from the crash site, U.S. Central Command Air Forces had listed Maj. Gilbert as "duty status whereabouts unknown." The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Major Gilbert was assigned to the 309th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and was deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, Iraq."
(Courtesy of U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs)
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew -
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
- John Gillespie Magee, Jr
posted by El Capitan at 3:16 PM
it's interesting how Magee died shortly after writing that.7:26 PM
I'm sorry/relieved to have this confirmed. You understand what I mean, I'm sure.
That poem is beautiful - makes me tear up every time I hear or read it.
Damn. May he RIP. An American hero - his service was noble, and shall never be forgotten.10:36 PM
I knew him at Lakenheath and was shocked to learn of his death. A great guy taken far too soon... my heart goes out to his family.
I was a very good friend of his in the early high school and college years. We lost touch over time. Only through a string of events did I learn of his passing. Still shocked as I write this, I'm happy at least to know that his dream of being a fighter pilot came true.
He was an awesome friend. I can only imagine the kind of husband, father, and leader he has been to everyone.
I know that it's my larynx and not my thorax. (Inside joke)