AIR FORCE CLARIFIES STATUS OF DHAHRAN ATTACK VICTIMS (FINAL RELEASE ON IDENTITY CONFIRMATION)
The Department of the Air Force today announced the identity
of the last unidentified airman killed in the Dhahran terrorist
attack and updated the status of the last airman whose duty
status was previously listed as unknown. The deceased is
Airman 1st Class Christopher B. Lester, hometown Pineville, W.Va.
He was assigned to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
The status of Senior Airman Paul A. Blais, assigned to Patrick
Air Force Base, Fla, has been updated from unknown to very
seriously injured. Blais is currently hospitalized in King
Faisal University Hospital in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
The Air Force confirmed the identity of Lester at
approximately 8 p.m.(EDT), Friday. Originally, Lester was
believed to be hospitalized in very serious condition. At the
time of Blais' admittance to the hospital he was listed as John
Doe. Members of Lester's unit later incorrectly identified
Blais as Lester and based on this, that identity was used.
Lester's next-of-kin was notified he was alive and listed as very
At the same time, through a process where unit commanders
account for their people, a list of eight names was compiled of
people unaccounted for. They were officially listed as duty
status unknown. Blais was listed as one of these eight airman
and his next-of-kin was notified of his status.
The Air Force sincerely regrets all hardship and pain caused
to both families.