The Utah community mourns the loss of one of their own after learning 1st Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen died during a routine training mission with the U.S. Air Force.
Allen grew up in Box Elder County, but recently moved overseas where he was serving with the 48th Fighter Wing based in England.
He had been there for a little over three months when his plane crashed during a routine training mission.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our airman and mourn with his family and his fellow reapers in the 493rd Fighter Squadron,” said Col. Will Marshall, Commander of the 48th Fighter Wing.
Marshall said Allen was the assistant chief of weapons and tactics for the 493rd Fighter Squadron.
On Monday morning, Allen was flying a F-15C Eagle at about 9:40 a.m. when the aircraft crashed into the North Sea along the coast of England.
“The outpouring of love and respect from our communities has been a ray of light in this time of darkness,” said Marshall.
His death comes just one day after his 27th birthday, and just one week after he recorded himself singing “Time in a Bottle” for his new bride.
“Oh my sweetheart Kage,” wrote Hannah Allen on Facebook. “I think I could fill an ocean with the tears I’ve cried today.”
The couple were married Feb. 20, right before Allen joined the 48th Fighter Wing.
Family members wrote on Facebook that Lt. Allen was waiting for his wife to join him in England once COVID-19 restrictions allowed.
“I never knew a heart could shatter like this,” Hannah wrote. “But I’ve promised you today that the rest of my life will be a tribute to you.”
In a tweet, Gov. Gary Herbert paid tribute to Lt. Allen, saying: “He was a Utahn dedicated to making a difference in the world, and kept his virtue through both triumph and disaster.”
Those with the RAF in Lakenheath, Suffolk posted a fundraiser for the Allen family.
The family has asked for space while they grieve their loss.
The cause of the plane crash is still under investigation.
Members of the organization Follow the Flag said they are waiting for more details, but plan to give Lt. Allen a hero’s welcome home.
Follow the Flag has set up a GoFundMe for the Allen family.