After more than 50 years, an Oklahoma airman will be coming home.

Ronald Scott, an Air Force colonel and aircraft commander, was declared missing in action after a March 15, 1966, crash over northern Vietnam. 

His remains were recently identified through mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, as well as dental analysis and circumstantial evidence, and will be returned to Claremore, Oklahoma, for a graveside service next week. 

According to information provided by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Arlington, Virginia, on March 15, 1966, Scott was a member of Headquarters, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, as the commander and wingman of a two-seater F-4C aircraft in a flight of two on an armed reconnaissance mission over northern Vietnam.

The lead aircraft spotted two vehicles as the flight approached the target area and the pilot of Scott's aircraft responded that he was going to strafe the trucks. The flight leader observed an explosion in the area of the target and immediately attempted to contact Scott's aircraft.
No parachutes or emergency signals were seen, and all attempts to contact Scott and his pilot were unsuccessful. An organized search was not possible due to hostilities in the area. Scott was subsequently declared MIA.

In November 2014, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) recovery team conducted recovery operations at a possible F-4C crash site in Dien Bien District, Dien Bien Province.

Material evidence and possible bone material was recovered and sent to the Central Identification Laboratory for analysis. Additional recovery operations were conducted in late 2015 and late 2016, and all recovered remains were sent to the laboratory for analysis.

Scott is survived by two sons, Ron and Mark Scott.
His name is etched on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The POW/MIA Accounting Agency says a rosette will be added to his name to indicate he has been accounted for. 

According to September 2017 DoD data, there are 1,602 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam era. 

Graveside services for Scott are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sept. 22, at Claremore's Woodlawn cemetery. The family plans to release additional information about the ceremony and how to honor Scott as his procession enters Claremore. 

Fink writes for the Claremore, Oklahoma, Daily Progress

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