A Pennsylvania airman’s remains returned to a hero’s welcome at the Pittsburgh International Airport Thursday, after he had been missing in action since 1969.
Air Force Capt. Thomas E. Clark, 28, of Emporium, Pa., was shot down on Feb. 8, 1969, over Laos as he was attacking an anti-aircraft artillery position, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review
. An Air Force Honor Guard and several of Clark’s relatives were at the airport when the remains came home.
Clark’s oldest nephew, Brian Clark, said he was ring bearer at his uncle’s wedding and remembers him speaking during a Veteran’s Day ceremony in 1968.
“It’s very sad that his mother could not be here today," Clark said. The deceased airman’s mother, Josephine, died last year at 100.
Clark went missing after his plane crashed, and three other American pilots on the same mission did not see any signs of him. Teams from Laos and the United States identified the crash site in 1991 and 1992, and human remains were found in 2009 that were eventually determined to be those of Clark.
The slain airman will be buried Saturday in his Pennsylvania hometown.
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