Monday, October 10, 2011

Military Monday: Can You Hear Me Major Tom?

Military Monday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. Military Monday is an ongoing series by Cindy at Everything’s Relative.

Three years ago my brother posted about Major Tom Clark, a pilot MIA in Viet Nam.  Tom was well-known to our family because of his friendship with one of our uncles.  My brother recently posted a follow-up.  He also posted a link to another blog (Solomon's words for the wisewith Tom's complete story which I have included, in part, here.

On February 8, 1969 Captain Clark was flying an F-100D Super Sabre, of 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 37th Tactical Fight Wing, in a flight of four mission over Laos. The flight controlled by an F-4 Forward Air Controller, engaged a 23mm Anti-Aircraft Artillery battery. Captain Clark's aircraft was hit by rounds from the artillery battery, burst into flames, and crashed. No parachute was observed. Aircraft in the area conducted visual and electronic searches, with negative results. Subsequent to the incident, the U.S. Air Force determined Captain Clark to be Killed in Action (KIA), Body not Recovered (BNR). The Air Force posthumously promoted Tom to the rank of Major.
On February 12, 1991, a joint U.S./Lao People's Democratic Republic team investigated the crash of Thomas E. Clark's F-100. In late 1991, a Thai citizen turned over to U.S. Officials in Thailand human remains as well as military identification tag and a partial military identification tag bearing Major Clark's name. The remains were identified as other than Captain Clark's. In February of 1992 a team worked to excavate the suspected crash site of Thomas E. Clark in the Savannakhet Province with no apparent results. In October of 2005 a joint team re-investigated the crash site excavated in 1992. Another bone fragment was found but later identified as not part of a human. In October of 2009 another joint team re-excavated portions of the crash site and recovered human remains. After extensive examination, including isotope testing, the human remains were identified as the remains of Thomas E. Clark.
The Clark family was notified in June 2011 that the remains of Thomas E. Clark would be returned to the family.

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