Monday, April 11, 2016

Truth More Important to Family of MIA Airman

Vietnam War airman's death re-examined after decades of controversy
Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
Published: April 11, 2016

“MIA is not closure, though it is better than this travesty that exists in the file to this day,” said his younger brother John Matejov, who is a retired Marine officer. “We shouldn’t have to fight for that.”
WASHINGTON — The Air Force closed the case on Sgt. Joseph Matejov when his surveillance aircraft went down at the end of the Vietnam War.

The missing airman was deemed killed in the fiery crash, and more than two decades later a group gravestone was installed at Arlington National Cemetery. A single casket containing bone fragments recovered in Laos was lowered into the ground at the 1996 funeral for Matejov and seven fellow Air Force crewmembers.

Officially, it was the end of the military’s accounting.

But the funeral did not bury the controversy over the downed aircraft, call sign Baron 52. The case’s long history is riddled with doubts and disagreements within the Pentagon, intelligence community and Congress over whether Matejov died that night in 1973.

Now, the Air Force and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency are re-examining the incident after decades of pressure from Matejov’s family and could change his status from killed to missing in action. A decision could be made within weeks.
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