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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Airman, Missing in Action for 36 Years, Comes Home

  • Saturday, Sept. 20, the remains of a serviceman from the Vietnam War were laid to rest in the Milford Cemetery, 36 years after his plane was shot down and he was declared missing in action.


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  • Saturday, Sept. 20, the remains of a serviceman from the Vietnam War were laid to rest in the Milford Cemetery, 36 years after his plane was shot down and he was declared missing in action.
     Edwin Jack Pearce, the oldest child of Rosemary Pearce, Milford and the late Edwin A. Pearce, was declared Missing in Action in 1972 during a mission of Laos.
    Jack, as he was known to family and friends, was raised in Milford and joined the Air Force after graduating from Delaware Valley High School. He chose the same branch of the service in which his father had served during World War II. Ironically, both Jack and his father flew many missions during their respective wars, both were shot down, and both were initially declared missing in action. Jack’s father was held for two years as a prisoner of war in the infamous German prisoner of war camp, Stalag 17, and returned at the end of World War II.
    On March 29, 1972, Jack and 13 other servicemen were flying a night mission during the Vietnam War. Jack’s crew’s mission that night was to stop the flow of ammunition by truck convoys through Laos to the North Vietnamese. Their aircraft, an AC-130, was shot down over Laos by a surface to air missile (SAM).
    The service began with an AC-130 aircraft honoring Jack with a flyover. Then, a local woman, Eileen Perault, sang an original song written for the service by Rosemary’s son-in-law, Charles Rotondi. The song was entitled “Coming Home.” Reverend Ann Rost, the local pastor of the Deerpark Reformed Church, eloquently conducted the private memorial service.
    The Air Force provided full military honors for the beautiful and somber service. These honors included an Air Force Color Guard, a gun volley, the playing of “Taps,” and the presentation of the flag. The service ended beautifully with the singing of “On Eagles’ Wings,” by Perault.
    Pearce was one of 14 men who were aboard the AC-130A Spectre gunship that took off from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on an armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos, according The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO).
    “Nearly 600 Americans were lost in Laos during the Vietnam war, and many were known to have survived their loss incident,” the POW Network says in the bio for Pearce. “However, the U.S. did not negotiate with Laos for these men, and consequently, not one American held in Laos has ever been released.”
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