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News > Academy graduate's body recovered from Adriatic Sea
Capt. Lucas Gruenther
Capt. Lucas Gruethner is pictured mountain climbing in Italy. Gruethner's body was found Jan. 31, 2013, after his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed in the Adriatic Sea Jan. 28. Gruethner was a 2003 graduate of the Air Force Academy and the 31st Fighter Wing's chief of flight safety. (courtesy photo)
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Academy graduate's body recovered from Adriatic Sea

Posted 1/31/2013   Updated 1/31/2013 Email story   Print story


1/31/2013 - MANIAGO, Italy (AFNS) -- The body of a 2003 Air Force Academy graduate whose F-16 went down in the Adriatic Sea has been recovered, officials at Aviano Air Base, Italy, said Jan. 31.

The 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office released the following statement on behalf of the family of Capt. Lucas Gruenther, with the family's permission:

"It is with great sadness that we announce that the body Capt. Lucas Gruenther was found in the Adriatic Sea this afternoon. A compassionate husband, a loving son, and a devoted brother; Luc leaves behind a family who loves him dearly and a legacy of achievement. We will never fully recover from our loss, but take heart in the knowledge that during his all-too-short time in this world, he made a significant difference in the lives of all whom he met.

"We would like to thank the people around the world for your messages and your prayers. We especially want to extend our deepest gratitude to the many people who volunteered their time and resources to help bring Luc home."

Media inquiries should be directed through 31st FW Public affairs at 31fw.pa2@us.af.mil or +39 0434 30 7555.

1/31/2013 6:58:52 PM ET
I send my sincere condolences to Capt. Gruethner's family. My own father was shot down over North Vietnam and he later went on to teach at USAFA. Thank you for your service young Captain. Your dedication to our country will never be forgotten. Soar in heaven with my father.
A pilot's daughter, Colorado
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