PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The remains of an Air Force pilot from Rhode Island, who went missing during a mission over North Vietnam in 1965, have been recovered.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday that the government of Vietnam located the remains of Col. Frederic Mellor and returned them to the U.S. last month.
The remains of an Air Force officer lost for almost 50 years after he was shot down over Southeast Asia finally came home Thursday to North Carolina, where he was greeted by his three children and a mile-long procession of roaring, flag-fluttering motorcycles.
Mellor, of Cranston, was flying the lead RF-101C aircraft on a mission to conduct photo and visual reconnaissance of a suspected surface to-air missile site on Aug. 13, 1965, when he was shot down.
According to the Pentagon, Mellor survived his ejection and attempted to evade the enemy. Initial radio contact was established, but then lost, and despite a two-day search, neither Mellor nor his aircraft were found. He was 30 years old.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Thursday he will retaliate against a U.S. halt on the issuing of most visas to senior foreign ministry officials and their families by suspending missions by U.S. military-led teams searching for the remains of Americans missing in action from the Vietnam War.
Burial and memorial services will be announced in the future.