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Wed, Jun 30, 2004

Missing Hornet Pilot Declared Lost

One More Sad Reason Proving That 'Freedom' Is Never 'Free'

An F/A-18A Hornet pilot involved in a mishap June 26 aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) has been listed as deceased.

Marine Capt. Franklin R. Hooks II, 32, of Dade City, Fla., was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 115, Marine Aircraft Group 31, which was conducting flight operations off Truman in the eastern Atlantic Ocean approximately 60 miles south of the Azores. Search and recovery efforts for Hooks were unsuccessful.

A 14-year veteran of the military, Hooks was married but did not have any children. Having enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1990, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997 and had been stationed here since December 2001. He flew combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of VMFA-115 “Silver Eagles” during their deployment aboard Truman from December 2002 to May 2003.

Hooks’ awards and decorations include the Air Medal, a Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a Combat “V” for valor, an Armed Forces Service Medal, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (2 awards) and a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

A memorial service for Hooks will be held June 30 aboard Harry S. Truman. Plans for a local memorial service will be announced at a later time.

FMI: www.news.navy.mil

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