Wisconsin Korean War soldier receives flyover salute at burial after 70 years of missing in action
SUPERIOR, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Wisconsin Korean War soldier listed as missing in action for nearly 70 years received a flyover salute from Wisconsin Army National Guard helicopters during his burial on Saturday, July 25.
According to a news release, United States Army Cpl. Francis J. Rochon went missing in action in 1950. 70 years later, his remains were accounted for on June 18. Rochon served as a member of COmpany C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during the Korean War.
Rochon was reported missing on Sept. 1, 1950 near Changnyeong, South Korea. He was declared dead by the U.S. Army on Dec. 31, 1953 and his remains were confirmed non-recoverable Jan. 16, 1956.
On July 25, Rochon received a burial with military honors at the Summit Cemetery in Foxboro. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation, provided a military flyover of the ceremony to pay tribute to his service and sacrifice, according to officials.
Rochon was 21-years-old when reported missing in action. Officials said his name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with others still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
"For a KIA to be laid to rest after 70 years, that was pretty incredible, and for us to be there to pay our respects, it was an honor for us, and I'm sure the entire crew," First Lt. Meredith L. Porter, who piloted one of the Black Hawks, said.
Sgt. Zachary D. Hoy, a crew chief on the mission, underscored the importance of this type of mission.
“For me, it’s great to honor him and his family,” he said. “To give some of our time to go do that awesome flyover for his family—to try and think about all the time in life he missed out on and his family missed out on to be with him—it’s great to give tribute and pay it back in some way, shape, or form.”