Image: Col. Steve Gregg
Don Ryan  /  AP
Col. Steve Gregg, commander of the Oregon Air National Guard 142nd fighter wing, reads a statement outside the base entrance in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, June 26, regarding a jet fighter that crashed into the Pacific Ocean 35 miles off the Oregon coast earlier that afternoon.
updated 6/27/2007 7:10:39 PM ET 2007-06-27T23:10:39

The body of a pilot whose F-15 fighter jet crashed during a training exercise over the Pacific Ocean has been recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard, officials said Wednesday.

The remains of Maj. Gregory D. Young, 34, of St. Helens, Ore., were found nearly 40 miles west of Cannon Beach in north Oregon, the Oregon Air National Guard said in a statement.

“He was a very talented young man with many years of dedicated service to the protection of the freedoms we enjoy today,” said Col. Steven Gregg, commander of the 142nd Fighter Wing stationed in Portland.

The plane crashed Tuesday afternoon during a training exercise that pitted four F-15s from Oregon Guard against four F/A-18s from a Marine Corps Reserve unit stationed near Fort Worth, Texas. Only seven planes returned.

The exercise was designed to sharpen fighting skills by giving the pilots experience in flying against a different kind of aircraft, officials said.

The sky was mostly clear with some high clouds when plane went down. A fellow pilot told Coast Guard searchers that no parachute was seen.

The cause of the crash was unknown. The Air Guard said an Air Force Safety Board would investigate.

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