Air Force Academy To Hold Funeral For F-16 Pilot

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — The Air Force Academy plans to hold a funeral service Friday for an Air Force pilot who died after a training mission over the Adriatic Sea.

The body of Maj. Lucas F. Gruenther was recovered by an Italian vessel on Jan. 31, a few days after his F-16 fighter jet disappeared during the mission Jan. 28.

Gruenther was part of the academy’s graduating class of 2003. A memorial service was held for him earlier this year in Italy. A funeral service at the Air Force Academy’s cemetery in Colorado is planned Friday.

Gruenther was assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, based at Aviano Air Base in Italy. The California native is survived by his wife, Cassy, and daughter, Serene.

He was posthumously promoted to major.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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