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US fighter pilot killed after jet crashes in England

LONDON — A US Marine fighter pilot was killed Wednesday when his F-18 crashed after taking off from a British air base in eastern England, US and British officials said.

The pilot was ejected from the single-seat aircraft after it went down near the Royal Air Force Lakenheath station, said Gunnery Sergeant Donald Bohanner at California’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, where the F/A-18C Hornet is stationed.

No other casualties were reported.

The Marine Corps said the pilot’s identity was being withheld pending notification of family.

The plane belonging to the Third Marine Aircraft Wing was among six San Diego-based aircraft returning from a six-month deployment in the Middle East.


Cambridgeshire police said the jet crashed shortly after takeoff, about 6 miles from Lakenheath. The other five planes were safely diverted to a nearby air base.

Officials are investigating the cause of the crash.

A year ago, a US Air Force F-15 crashed in a field near the air base. The pilot was not seriously hurt.

In January 2014, four US Air Force crew members based at Lakenheath died when their helicopter hit a flock of geese and crashed during a training mission.