The Air Force F-111Fs would spend only 11 minutes in the target area, with what at first appeared to be mixed results. Anti-aircraft and SAM opposition from the very first confirmed that the Libyans were ready. News of the raid was broadcast while it was in progress. One aircraft, Karma 52, was lost, almost certainly due to a SAM, as it was reported to be on fire in flight. Capt. Fernando L. Ribas-Dominicci and Capt. Paul F. Lorence were killed. Only Ribas-Dominicci's body was recovered; his remains were returned to the US three years later.

Thursday, April 21, 2005 Last updated 9:41 a.m. PT

General: U.S. seeks relations with Libya


WASHINGTON -- .....Wald's interest in Libya is shared other elements of the Defense Department. The POW-MIA office at the Pentagon, for example, sent representatives to Libya last year to discuss possible cooperation on accounting for U.S. military personnel shot down over Libya during World War II, as well as the recovery of an Air Force pilot missing from the 1986 bombing raid on Tripoli....

 Libya, Apr 14, 1986--Two Air Force crewmembers, CPT Fernando L. Ribas-Dominici and CPT Paul F. Lorence, were killed when their F-111 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a reprisal raid for the Berlin bombings

Posted on Sat, Mar. 11, 2006
Family persists in search of captain
By John Simerman

.....All but one jet returned safely. Aboard the lost plane, Karma-52, were the pilot, Air Force Maj. Fernando Ribas-Dominicci, and Kruger's older stepbrother, Capt. Paul F. Lorence.

Lorence, a quiet, 31-year-old weapons system officer, graduated from Skyline High School in Oakland with dreams of flying an F-111. With the crash, he left behind a wife and baby son in England.....

Reach John Simerman at 925-943-8072 or e-mail

January 8, 2006

Ladies and Gentleman,


My name is Jeff Kruger, brother to fallen US Air Force Captain Paul F. Lorence, who's F-111F bomber was reportedly shot down during the raid on Libya on April 14, 1986 .  To this date, Paul's remains are still in the custody of the Libyan government.  Our family would very much like his remains returned home where they belong.  After almost 20 years, it's long overdue.  Paul was a San Francisco / Bay Area native who graduated from Skyline High School in Oakland and majored in history at San Francisco State University .  Paul was 31 years old when his jet was downed.  Paul left behind a wife and 8 month old son who live in England to this day.


The F-111F contains 2 flight crew, the pilot and the Weapons System Operator (WSO).  Inside this aircraft the pilot and the WSO sit side by side in the cockpit.  The cockpit they sit in is structurally reinforced to withstand high impacts.  This particular mission was designated " Operation El Dorado Canyon ".  Paul Lorence was the WSO and Captain Fernando Ribas-Dominicci was the pilot.  Their airplane's callsign was designated as "Karma-52".  In the early morning hours of April 15, 1986 , Karma-52 was reportedly shot down over the Mediterranean Sea while flying inbound, only a few miles off the coast of Tripoli .  Karma-52 went down fully armed.    


Days after the raid,  Libya claimed publicly to possess bodies affiliated with the fallen aircraft.  Paul's mother and I personally remember watching TV footage during this time of someone in Libya holding up what I remember to be a white helmet with the name "Lorence" stenciled on the back.  In early January 1989, almost 3 years after the raid and under pressure from the US government, Qaddafi reluctantly released one of the bodies, that of Fernando Ribas-Dominicci, to the  Vatican in Rome .  An autopsy conducted in Spain confirmed the cause of death was drowning.  There were no internal injuries or broken bones to his body.  Weeks later, in an interview with Barbara Walters, Qaddafi denied knowing the whereabouts of Paul Lorence. 


In 1995 a book was authored by an individual who claims to have seen not only the wreckage of Karma-52 but the engraved names of Lorence and Ribas-Dominicci on the flight suits and  helmets of BOTH Paul Lorence and Fernando Ribas-Dominicci.  The book is named "Pan Am 103 The Lockerbie Cover Up" authored by William C. Chasey, ISBN 0-9640104-1-0.  Chapter 18 details what Mr. Chasey saw first hand as he and the members of his party toured the Bab Azizzia Barracks in downtown Tripoli and ultimately meet with Qaddafi himself.  Another good reference is "Raid on Qaddafi, the untold story of history's longest fighter mission by the pilots who directed it" by Col. Robert E. Venkus 1992.  ISBN 0-312-07073-X


In summary, our family strongly believes  Libya still has possession of the remains of a US military officer who some may consider to be the first U.S. serviceman to die in the defense against terrorism.  The United States is still at war against terror today.  Let's celebrate the long overdue homecoming of an airman who fought the very first battle!   April 14, 2006  will mark the 20 year anniversary of Paul and Fernando's death in defense of this country.  Fernando was returned home in 1989.  It's long overdue for Paul's return home.


I have been designated by my family as the spokesman for this matter.  Since Paul was from the Bay Area and since most if not all of the local radio and television stations covered this story in 1986, I will be contacting local Bay Area media as well.  The only motive our family has is to bring Paul's remains back to the United States for burial at the Arlington National Cemetery


Thank you for your attention in this very important matter.


Jeff Kruger

Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 17:42:27 -0400
From: "Theodore D. Karantsalis" <>
Subject: Captain Paul Lorence

I believe we spoke several years ago about my friend Captain Paul Lorence, who perished in Libya during Operation El Dorado.
In April 2006, we will remember Paul on the 20th anniversary of his death.  We are still hopeful that his remains will be located and returned.  Yes, finally, after years of phone calls and letters it appears as though we may achieve this goal.


Blog: Captain Paul Lorence

Post: Proposed Resolution for Captain Paul Lorence


Captain Paul Lorence received his Bachelor of Arts in History, Summa Cum Laude, from San Francisco State University in 1980.

Can We Bring Capt. Paul Lorence Home? - You will not find the name of Paul Lorence on the list of Prisoners or Missing from World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam or the Gulf. Yet, Air Force Capt. Paul Lorence is a missing American serviceman.

Normally, we do in depth research before we bring the story of a missing serviceman to our readers. That is not the case here. While the limited information provided is factual, it is sketchy. More information is needed and we will get it but for now, we felt that everyone should know of Capt. Paul Lorence.

On April 14, 1986, President Ronald Reagan gave the order to launch Operation El Dorado Canyon. Among those participating on the bombing raid over Libya was Capt. Paul Lorence. He and his pilot were shot down during that mission.

After doing some quick internet research, we learned Libya returned the remains of the aircraft pilot, only after intervention by the Pope. So far, we have been unable to find out how long the Libyan's held the pilots remains or when they were returned. We also do not know at this point what information, if any, the Libyans provided on Capt. Lorence, when the pilots remains were returned.

The fact that the Libyans recovered the remains of the pilot might provide indications that they know what may have happened to the backseater, Capt.  Lorence.

Can We Bring Capt. Paul Lorence Home? Is anyone asking?