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Search Continues For Two Air Force Fliers

July 15, 1987

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) _ Air Force and Coast Guard planes set out at first light today searching for two crewmen of an Air Force F-4E Phantom II jet that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said.

The two unidentified men were missing after the jet, attached to the Tactical Air Warfare Center here, crashed about 15 miles southeast of Eglin at about 7 p.m. CDT Tuesday, said Capt. Pat Engelhardt, an Air Force spokeswoman.

This morning two Coast Guard jets, a 41-foot cutter, an Air Force C-130 plane and an undetermined number of Air Force boats were searching 40 square miles of sea south of Destin, Ms. Engelhardt said.

The missing jet took off from Moody Air Force Base north of Valdosta, Ga. at 6 p.m. Tuesday on a training mission and was en route to Eglin when it crashed, officials said.

Searchers on Tuesday found quite a bit of debris, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Jeff Windham.

The Air Force declined to release the names of the crew.

A board of inquiry has been selected to investigate, Ms. Engelhardt said.

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