Staff and wire reports
The American pilot whose F-16 fighter jet went down in Iraq on Monday was listed as killed in action following DNA analysis of remains recovered at the crash site, the U.S. Air Force said Sunday.
Maj. Troy L. Gilbert, 34, was supporting troops fighting in Anbar province, where many of the country’s Sunni-Arab insurgent groups operate. Videotape footage obtained by Associated Press Television News after the crash appeared to show the wreckage of the F-16CG in a field and a tangled parachute nearby.
Gilbert, whose wife is a Clovis native, was flying a plane assigned to Cannon Air Force Base.
Remains recovered at the crash site 20 miles north of Baghdad were identified as Gilbert’s, the Air Force said.
U.S. forces investigating the crash have said insurgents reached the site before American forces could. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but officials said they did not believe Gilbert was shot down.
A memorial fund has been established at the Bank of Clovis.
Donations may be made to the Gilbert Family Memorial Fund. The fund was announced Saturday by the Bank of Clovis, the Clovis News Journal and the Portales News-Tribune.
Donations may be dropped off at the bank, 300 Main St., or the newspaper offices, 521 Pile St. in Clovis and 101 E. First in Portales. They will be deposited in a Bank of Clovis account.
Troy and Ginger Gilbert were married at Cannon. They have five young children and live in Glendale, Ariz. Her parents are Jay and Judi Gurley of Clovis. Jay Gurley is communications director of ENMR-Plateau, former president of Clovis Community College, and president of the Board of Regents for Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.