A recent comment on a BRD Memorial Day 2008 post,
Tom Clark - MIA Laos - Never Forget tipped off BRD to a developing story on the return of the remains of Maj. Tom Clark, USAF.
Maj. Tom Clark, USAF - call sign: Sunvalley34
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.
Major Thomas Clark will be coming home to Emporium, escorted by Patriot Guard Riders and Police, on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 approx. 4:00 PM. The procession will pause at his former home at 229 West 4th Street before continuing East on 4th Street to the Barnett Funeral Home. The public may welcome him home by standing along 4th Street awaiting his arrival after 42 years.
Full story from local Emporium PA area blogger,
Solomon's words for the wise here
Sunvalley 34 has returned to home base. Bravo Zulu to the recovery team.