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Hudson’s Capt. Ryan Phaneuf welcomed; services set for Friday, Saturday

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Hudson police and fire officials remove the flag-draped coffin containing the body of U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Phaneuf from a hearse at Dumont Sullivan Funeral Home Wednesday morning.

HUDSON – U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Phaneuf, who was killed in the Jan. 27 crash in Afghanistan of the Bombardier E-11A communications aircraft he was co-piloting, completed the final leg of his long journey home Wednesday when the flag-draped coffin carrying his body arrived at Dumont-Sullivan Funeral Home.

Just before 10 a.m., the military aircraft transporting his body landed at the Nashua Airport. A short time later, police and fire officials representing both Nashua and Hudson placed the coffin into a Dumont Sullivan hearse that police and fire vehicles would escort through Nashua, over the bridge into Hudson, past the Leonard A. Smith Central fire station and into the Dumont-Sullivan parking lot.

Services for Phaneuf, a 2007 Alvirne High School graduate who was 30 when he was killed, are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. According to police, the services are expected to draw large numbers of people, while causing occasional lengthy traffic delays along Lowell Road to the Dracut Road area.

Visiting hours are 1-8 p.m. Friday at St. Kathryn’s Church, 4 Dracut Road. At about 10 a.m. Friday, police said, a detail of Hudson police and firefighters will escort the funeral hearse carrying Phaneuf’s body to the church.

On Saturday, a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at the church, starting at 10 a.m.

According to Phaneuf’s family, he will receive full military honors on March 9 at a private burial service in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu directed flags to be flown at half-staff on Saturday in Phaneuf’s honor.

“Captain Phaneuf made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may continue to live freely,” Sununu said, calling Phaneuf “an American hero” to whom “New Hampshire will always be grateful for his service.”

Sununu is scheduled to present the New Hampshire Medal of Honor to Phaneuf’s wife and his parents at Saturday’s service.

Phaneuf’s full obituary and related stories are available through an archive search at www.nashuatelegraph.com.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, or at dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com.