ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, United Kingdom — An Air Force fighter pilot who died Monday after crashing off the coast of England has been identified as 1st Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen, of Northern Utah.
According to a statement from the U.S. Air Force, Allen was killed when his F-15C Eagle crashed Monday morning, June 15, in the North Sea. The aircraft, from the 48th Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom, was on a routine training mission at the time of the crash. The cause of the incident is under investigation. Allen was assistant chief of weapons and tactics for the 493rd Fighter Squadron.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution assisted in the massive search effort for Allen, off England’s Yorkshire coast. The RNLI performs seas rescue missions around the coasts of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and some inland waterways.
According to the Air Force, Allen had only been in the U.K. for a short time. He first arrived at the 48th Fighter Wing in February.
Allen’s wife, Hannah Allen, posted several tributes to her husband on Facebook after learning of his death.
“He is gone. I’m shaking,” reads one of her posts. “Kage was perfect, never been treated with more love and respect in my life. He was my absolute best friend.”
Allen is survived by his wife and parents.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lt. Allen, and mourn with his family and his fellow Reapers in the 493rd Fighter Squadron,” Col. Will Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement. “The tremendous outpouring of love and support from our communities has been a ray of light in this time of darkness.”
Allen attended Box Elder High School. According to the Brigham City History Project, he received an award for the school’s best male student in 2011.
Patrick Parker, a math teacher at Box Elder High, said Allen was the school’s student body president during the 2010-2011 school year. Parker lived in Perry near Allen’s family and taught the pilot in high school. The teacher saw Allen in late 2019 while he was home on leave.
“He had just graduated from the academy and he had gotten the plane he wanted,” Parker said. “He had been wanting to fly since he was, like, 5.”
Parker said Allen took aviation courses in high school to prepare to be a pilot.
“He was always looking to be somebody who made everybody better,” Parker said. “I don’t know of a person who has seized the moment like Kage did.”
Tom Davidson, who was Allen’s chemistry teacher at Box Elder High, said he was devastated when he learned the news of Allen’s passing on Monday.
“In your teaching career, there’s always great kids, but there’s just a handful of exceptionally great kids and Kage was on there,” Davidson said.