Former Citadel cadet one of four killed in Africa plane crash

The casket of Ryan Hall arrived at Dover AFB Tuesday morning (Provided).

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- One of the four Air Force members killed in a plane crash in Africa over the weekend has been identified as Captain Ryan Preston Hall, a graduate of The Citadel.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the single-engine U-28 aircraft crashed in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa February 18. He also said there is no indication any enemy involvement is to blame.

"This is obviously a tragic incident," Little said about the accident, which occurred at the Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti City. The main base of operations for the U.S. Africa Command, Camp Lemonnier, is located nearby.

Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was assigned to the 319th Special Operations Squadron. Hall had been assigned to the 319th SOS at Hurlburt Field since 2007 and had more than 1,300 combat flight hours.

He entered the Air Force in 2004 after receiving his commission and a history degree from The Citadel. As a cadet he was a squad leader and platoon sergeant and active with the Lutheran campus ministry. During his senior year, he was the Delta Company executive officer, the number two ranking cadet in the company.

Hall also was a member of the 2004 Summerall Guards, but was most active in the Air Force ROTC unit, said his friend and Citadel roommate, David Barrett, Delta Company commander in 2004.

The aircraft went down during a intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission for the war in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The other three men killed were all U.S. Air Force personnel from the Hulburt Field military base in Florida.

Little said a dignified transfer ceremony took place at the Dover Air Force Base military mortuary in Delaware Tuesday morning "for our returning fallen heroes who were involved in this crash."

The Citadel said Hall was on his seventh deployment overseas. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Hall is the 16th alumnus of The Citadel and third member of the Class of 2004 to die in action associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

* The Citadel and the American Forces Press Service contributed to this report.