The wife of a US Air Force pilot who died after his fighter jet crashed off the Yorkshire coast has said she feels “beyond blessed to have loved him in this life”.
First Lieutenant Kenneth Allen was found dead after a major search and rescue operation in the North Sea on Monday.
He had been flying an F-15C Eagle jet on a routine training mission when it crashed near Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire.
Writing on her Facebook page, Lt Allen’s wife Hannah paid tribute to her husband – who was known as Kage – and said she had “no words to express how shaken I am”.
“He is gone. I’m shaking,” she wrote.
“I got a priesthood blessing and he told me Kage is so sorry. Typical Kage to apologise even though he shouldn’t.
“Kage was perfect, [I’ve] never been treated with more love and respect in my life.
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“He was my absolute best friend and man Christ needs hurry up and come back so I can be with Kage again.”
She added: “I feel beyond blessed to have loved him in this life and can’t wait to love him for eternity. #youaremyforever.”
Mrs Allen, who married Lt Allen in February, had earlier posted an image of a news story about the crash when the pilot was still missing.
She wrote: “Life doesn’t feel real. Right now Kage has presumably passed. Right now we need time to process this shock.
“Pray. All I know is God has a plan if Kage is gone I will see him again.
“He is the love of my life. I don’t know what I did to deserve him or be apart of his family.”
In a statement, the 48th Fighter Wing, based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, said it was “deeply saddened by the loss of Lt Allen” who was assistant chief of weapons and tactics for the 493rd Fighter Squadron.
Colonel Will Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander, said: “The tremendous outpouring of love and support from our communities has been a ray of light in this time of darkness.”
The cause of the crash has not been revealed.
Sky News defence and security correspondent Alistair Bunkall said the area where the plane came down is used by UK and US military jets for training missions.
He added that he understood there were four military jets in the air at the time of the incident.
The Coastguard said it received reports that a plane had gone down into the sea 74 nautical miles (85 miles) off Flamborough Head.
A helicopter was sent to the scene along with Bridlington and Scarborough RNLI lifeboats.
The Coastguard said other vessels nearby headed to the scene after it carried out a Mayday broadcast.
The F-15C, a single-seater air defence fighter, has been used by the US Air Force since 1979.
Previously, an F-15D fighter jet based at RAF Lakenheath crashed in fields near Spalding in Lincolnshire in October 2014.
The pilot ejected safely, suffering only minor injuries, and no-one on the ground was hurt.
In October 2015, US pilot Major Taj Sareen died when his F-18 Hornet jet crashed on farmland near RAF Lakenheath.
A subsequent investigation found the 34-year-old did not report problems with his aircraft before take-off.