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Navy Names Pilot Presumed Dead After Crash Off USS Carl Vinson

Navy Lt. Nathan Poloski
Navy Lt. Nathan Poloski

The Navy has identified the pilot who went missing and is presumed dead after his fighter jet crashed as Lt. Nathan Poloski, 26, of Lake Arrowhead, California.

As Home Post reported earlier, Poloski was the pilot of one of two F/A-18C Hornet jets from the USS Carl Vinson that collided Friday and crashed into the Western Pacific.

The other pilot was immediately rescued and received medical attention aboard the Vinson.


The Vinson Carrier Strike Group covered more than 3,000 square miles searching for any sign of Poloski.

On Saturday, the Navy announced it had suspended its search, and that Poloski was "presumed deceased."

Poloski was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 94 out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. The squadron's commanding officer, Cmdr. Michael Langbehn, said in a statement released by the Navy:

"Nathan was an outstanding person, naval officer and aviator. My personal thoughts and prayers are for his family, friends and shipmates as they endure this immeasurable loss."

Poloski grew up in Lake Arrowhead, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2009.

In 2011, Poloski explained to Lake Arrowhead's newspaper, Mountain News, why it was his lifelong dream to become a Navy fighter pilot:

"[B]ecause there is one thing that separates us from any other pilot...landing on an aircraft carrier."

Poloski leaves behind his mother and stepfather, Miriam and Steve Kendrick of Lake Arrowhead, and his father, Thomas Poloski of San Diego.

The members of Strike Fighter Squadron 94, Carrier Air Wing 17, and USS Carl Vinson crew are planning to hold a memorial service for Poloski on board the aircraft carrier.