December 5, 2006 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The American pilot whose F-16 fighter jet went down in Iraq was listed as killed in action following. DNA analysis of remains recovered at the crash site, the U.S. Air Force said Sunday.
Maj. Troy Gilbert, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, was killed when his jet crashed while providing close support Nov. 27 in Iraq. Gilbert was the standardization and evaluation chief for the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and was deployed from the 309th Fighter Squadron from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
Major Troy Gilbert's F-16 crashed November 27th north of Baghdad while he was supporting troops fighting about 20 miles northwest of the Iraqi capital.
Although Gilbert was from Luke Air Force Base he was flying a jet assigned to Cannon Air Force Base. He was deployed to the 332nd Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Force Base in Iraq in September and logged more than 130 combat hours, the Air Force said.
U.S. forces investigating the crash have said insurgents reached the site before American forces could. The cause of the crash is under investigation but officials don't believe Gilbert was shot down.
Posthumously, he has been awarded a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor.
"Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Gilbert family as they grieve the loss of a husband, father, son, son-in-law and Air Force warrior-patriot," said Lt. Gen. Gary North, the top U.S. Air Force commander in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters.