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Capt. James Steel, 29, from the 77th Fighter Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, completed pilot training and arrived at Shaw in 2009. Steel was killed April 3, after his aircraft crashed in Afghanistan. (Courtesy Photo)
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Shaw pilot identified in Afghanistan crash

Posted 4/5/2013   Updated 4/8/2013 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Ann Blodzinski
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

4/5/2013 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Air Force officials have confirmed a Shaw AFB F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot was killed April 3, after his aircraft crashed in Afghanistan returning to base from a close air support mission.

The pilot, Capt. James Steel, 29, from the 77th Fighter Squadron here, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2006, completed pilot training and arrived at Shaw in June 2010. He was the chief of mobility for the 77th FS here.

"Our condolences and prayers are with the family, friends and squadron members of Capt. Steel," said Col. Clay Hall, 20th Fighter Wing commander. "This is a difficult time for Shaw AFB, but we are focused on taking care of the Steel family, our Airmen and continuing to execute the mission."

The accident is currently under investigation; more details will be released as they become available.

Note: All media inquiries should be directed to Capt. Ann Blodzinski, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs officer at (803) 895-2019 or

4/9/2013 1:27:10 PM ET
when my father was in the Air Force and stationed at Shaw AFB back when it was the 78th FS and all of the families that my father worked with became very close. although I haven't been back to Shaw for years now I still feel like I've lost a family member. My condolences go out to the family of Capt. Steel.
Jordan Hartwick, Rochester NH
4/8/2013 5:53:20 AM ET
Met James on 29 April 2012 and discussed the Wild Weasel mission at Robins AFB Air Show. James and his flight surgeon flew in an F-16 for exhibit at the show. Little did we know how little time James had left on this planet. Thank you for fighting for freedom James. God be with you always
James Calvin, Robins AFB
4/6/2013 6:50:31 PM ET
Thoughts and prayers Sir... Forever Blue skies
Richard , United Kingdom
4/5/2013 1:19:46 PM ET
Our deepest condolences to the Family and to Gamblers Squadron....All Aces No Jokers...Double Down 31st Aviano Tail Spotters Group
Gigi, Aviano Italy
4/5/2013 11:47:02 AM ET
Praying for the family and friends of this fallen hero So sorry for your loss.
Aimee Robinson, Crestview FL
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