06/13/06 — South Korean pilot dies in F-15K crash

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South Korean pilot dies in F-15K crash

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 13, 2006 1:48 PM

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base lost a friend Wednesday when a fighter jet crashed into the East Sea, off the coast of Korea, during a night intercept mission.

Last spring, Maj. Sung Dae Kim was enjoying his stay in Goldsboro -- training with pilots at Seymour, eating Wilbur's barbecue and continuing his studies of air combat.

He had traveled to the U.S. with seven others -- pilots and weapons specialists -- from the Korean Air Force with an important mission -- to learn about a new version of the F-15E Strike Eagle being built for their military.

Last March, Kim and his comrades went to St. Louis to see the first F-15K roll off a Boeing assembly line. Then, in July, the pilots took their first look at the new jet in action when it touched down at Seymour.

Today, he is mourned by those he knew and worked with -- the friends he made on a base he called home for the better part of a year.

The funeral was held late last week.