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Pilot To Be Honored In Delaware

January 15, 1989

MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico (AP) _ An American pilot killed during the U.S. raid on Libya in 1986 will be honored at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, family members said Sunday.

The body of Maj. Fernando Ribas Dominicci, 33, is to be flown to Delaware from Torrejon, Spain, for the Monday memorial service, said Salvador Ribas Dominicci, the pilot’s brother.

The pilot’s body was flown to Spain after it was released by Libyan authorities in Rome on Friday. Libya initially had identified the body as that of the other pilot killed in the raid, Capt. Paul Lorence, 31, of San Francisco.

Both men were in the same F-111 bomber that was lost during the U.S. raid on Tripoli and Benghazi. An estimated 40 Libyans were killed in the raid.

Salvador Ribas Dominicci said he and Blanca Linda Ribas, his brother’s widow, were flying to Delaware on Sunday to attend the ceremony.

He said he was confident that while in Dover the federal government will give him the results of an autopsy done at the request of the family.

He said they expect to bury his brother sometime next week in Utuado, his hometown in the central mountainous region of Puerto Rico.

The pilot was the youngest of six brothers. Fernando Ribas Dominicci also left behind a son, Fernando, 7.

The body was returned during a period of international debate over a Libyan plant the United States says can produce chemical weapons, and nine days after U.S. fighters shot down two Libyan jets over the Mediterranean.

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