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Navy identifies 2 killed in Key West plane crash during military training

Lt. Cmdr. James Johnson, Lt. Caleb King die in plane crash

KEY WEST, Fla. – The U.S. Navy identified Thursday the two aviators who died in a plane crash off Naval Air Station Key West.

Lt. Cmdr. James Johnson was the pilot and Lt. Caleb King was the weapons systems operator. They died after the F/A-18F Super Hornet they were in descended before landing Wednesday.

Johnson is a 2007 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and King is a 2012 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, according to a statement from the Navy. They were attached to Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 213 "Black Lions" based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia.

"The entire Blacklion Family is grieving the loss of two great Americans," VFA-213’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Kevin Robb said in a statement. "Lt. Cmdr. Johnson and Lt. King were phenomenal young men, exceptional naval aviators and were living models of what honor, courage and commitment really mean."

They were training with Carrier Air Wing 8 when witnesses said a flash of fire surrounded the Super Hornet before it dropped. The Mishap Investigation Board was conducting an investigation.


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