SUMTER, S.C. — An Air Force captain from the Colorado town of New Castle and a University of Colorado graduate was killed when his F-16 fighter jet crashed in the Middle East, the Air Force said Tuesday.
Capt. William H. Dubois died Sunday at an undisclosed location. The Defense Department only said the crash occurred near a coalition air base.
Dubois, 30, was with the 77th Fighter Squadron out of Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. In October, the Air Force said F-16s left Shaw to join in airstrikes in Iraq and Syria under Operation Inherent Resolve.
He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s aerospace engineering program in 2008.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Capt. William Dubois,” CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano said in a statement. “Capt. Dubois served the United States Air Force and represented our nation, the state of Colorado, and this university with honor and distinction. His sacrifice, and the sacrifices of the other CU men and women in uniform, are honored by our entire campus community.”
A Pentagon spokesman told The Associated Press that the jet had a maintenance problem after takeoff and returned to the base but crashed before it landed.
New Castle has a population of just more than 4,500. It is along Interstate 70 in Garfield County, between Glenwood Springs and Rifle.