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Body Of US Airman Killed In Vietnam Will Return To Florida

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) — The body of an Air Force colonel is returning home to Florida more than 50 years after his plane was shot down over Vietnam.

Col. Peter J. Stewart died March 15, 1966, when his F-4C Phantom jet was shot down. However, the 48-year-old’s remains were not identified until last month.

His son, Jim Stewart, told The Ledger the news has been bittersweet. He said knowing his father died quickly instead of languishing as a prisoner of war has brought the family some solace.

Stewart’s remains will be flown to Tampa on June 16. His family will then hold a memorial service and a funeral mass in Winter Haven.

According to Dan Penzien, president of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1040, Stewart is the first missing Vietnam veteran from Polk County identified in more than 20 years.

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