American Pilot Killed in Gulf Crash Died Without Seeing Son
Undated (AP) _ LONDON (AP) - An American pilot killed when his F-111 fighter-bomber crashed in Saudi Arabia died without seeing his 4-week-old son.
Capt. Fredrick Reid, 33, of Harrisburg, Pa., and his weapons systems officer Capt. Thomas Caldwell, 32, of Columbus, Ohio, were killed outright when their F-111 went down over the Saudi Arabian peninsula Wednesday on a training mission.
Reid’s second son, Cody, was born after Reid was sent to the gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield, the U.S. military response to Iraq’s Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.
Reid had been based at the British air force’s Lakenheath base in the eastern English county of Suffolk.
Reid’s tearful wife Vicki, said Friday at their home in Mundford in neighboring Norfolk county that her husband had lived for flying and his family.
She said he had not been afraid of going to join the U.S.-led international force massing in the gulf.
″It was part of his job. He loved flying - that’s why he was in the air force,″ she said.
″We were both aware of the danger, but you always think it won’t happen to you.″
Mrs. Reid said her husband was a calm, strong man. ″He was outgoing and friendly and we have made a lot of friends here in the village where we live,″ she said.
″He loved adventure and outdoor camping, things like that.″
Lt. Cmdr. J D van Sickle, a military spokesman, said the incident was under investigation.
The F-111 was attached to the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing at Lakenheath.
The aircraft was the latest version of a 23-year-old swing-wing jet that first saw action in Vietnam, he said.