Saturday, January 27, 2007

Welcome Home

This morning I got an e-mail from Chuck and Mary Schantag of the P.O.W. NETWORK that says the long wait is over for the family of a United States serviceman. They had been waiting since 1965 to find out what happened to Peter Mongilardi, Jr.

January 25, 2007


The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Cmdr. Peter Mongilardi, Jr., U.S. Navy, of Haledon, N.J. He will be buried on April 11 at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C.

On June 25, 1965, Mongilardi departed the USS Coral Sea in his A-4C Skyhawk on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. His flight encountered bad weather and enemy fire over Thanh Hoa Province, causing the wingman to lose visual and radio contact with Mongilardi. Contact was never re-established and the aircraft failed to return to the carrier.

In 1993, a joint U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) archival team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), obtained information concerning the crash while researching documents, artifacts and photographs at the Central Army Museum in Hanoi. Later that year, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team conducted an investigation in Thanh Hoa Province. The team interviewed two local Vietnamese citizens who recalled the crash and said the pilot died in the impact. The men then led the team to the crash site.

In 1994, another joint team excavated the crash site and recovered human remains and pilot-related items, including a belt tip, boot heel, pieces of flight boot and other items worn by the pilot.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used nuclear DNA in the identification of the remains.

The questions that Peter's family and friends have been asking have been answered. They will be in my thoughts and prayers during this time of mourning. I never got the chance to meet him. I wish things would have been different so I could have, it would have given me a chance to thank him for serving his country and to tell him welcome home.

Thanks go to:


God Bless America, God Save The Republic.


Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

Thank you Cmdr. Peter Mongilardi, Jr. for protecting us. We at gonna pray for your soul.

4:21 AM  

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