HUDSON - A New Hampshire man was one of two American airmen killed Monday in Afghanistan when a U.S. military plane crashed.
Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf, 30, of Hudson, was killed in the crash, the cause of which is under investigation, according to a statement Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Defense.
N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday extended his condolences to the family, saying in a statement, "My sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family of Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf of Hudson, NH. Capt. Phaneuf made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may continue to live freely. All of New Hampshire, and America, mourns the loss of this great hero."
A social media post on the Alvirne High Facebook page noted that Phaneuf was assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, and was a 2007 graduate of Alvirne where he was the AFJROTC Commander with a dream of being a pilot.
"We are so glad his hard work allowed him to achieve that goal," the post read.
The other airman killed in the crash of the Bombardier E-11A aircraft was Lt. Col. Paul K. Voss, 46, of Guam.
Phaneuf's death is the second tragedy the town of Hudson has had to endure in the past week, with the Jan. 23 death of Katie Thune, a Virginia police officer who was killed when the driver of a car she and a fellow officer had approached sped off with Thune wedged between the door and the car. She was dragged for about a block before the car crashed into a tree. She succumbed to her injuries soon after.
Thune, who was 24, also grew up in Hudson and graduated from Alvirne, where a candlelight vigil was held in her honor just last night.