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Navy Identifies Pilot Presumed Dead After Midair Collision


" outstanding person, naval officer and aviator."

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LEMOORE, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) — A Navy fighter pilot presumed dead after two jets crashed in the far western Pacific Ocean has been identified.

The pilot was Lt. Nathan Poloski, a 26-year-old native of Lake Arrowhead, the Navy said Sunday.

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Poloski was the subject of a 36-hour search in the waters off the U.S. territory of Wake Island after two F/A-18C Hornets collided in midair Friday. The other pilot safely ejected, was rescued from the ocean by helicopter and was treated and released from medical facilities aboard the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.

The pilots and their squadron were from Carrier Air Wing 17 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Poloski was a 2009 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

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"My personal thoughts and prayers are for his family, friends and shipmates as they endure this immeasurable loss," Cmdr. Michael Langbehn, commanding officer of VFA 94, said in a statement Sunday, reported KNSD-TV in San Diego.

Poloski “was an outstanding person, naval officer and aviator," Langbehn added, according to KNSD.

The cause of the collision was under investigation.

The following report preceded the Navy identifying Poloski:

This story has been updated.

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