672 – A daughter’s Search for MIA remains in Laos

Nancy Whitford Eger, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Cedar Falls native US Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence William Whitford Jr. of Cedar Falls. at right, and his family in the late 1960’s. Pictured from left to right are his wife, Patrice Whitford, son Larry Whitford and daughter Nancy Whitford, now Nancy Whitford Eger, the only surviving member of the family.

Nancy Whitford Eger, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Nancy Whitford Eger

One of the bitterest components of the Vietnam Legacy is that of the MIA question. For almost half a century hundreds individuals whose loved ones have been classified as missing in action have been suffering through the waiting and wondering if the remains of those so designated will ever be found. It is so important for that closure to be completed for a loved one who died for their country many years ago.

There is a story in The Courier of Cedar Falls, Iowa titled: New hope of finding C.F. pilot’s burial site submitted by Pat Kinney (pat.kinney@wcfcourier.com) that tells of one MIA relative how received a slight glimmer of hope in finding the remains of her father who vanished on an Air Force mission over the Kingdom of Laos in 1969.

Lt. Col. Lawrence William Whitford, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Lt. Col. Lawrence William Whitford of Cedar Falls was reported missing in action over Laos in 1969 during the Vietnam War.

She is Nancy Whitford Eger, daughter of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence William Whitford Jr. of Cedar Falls, a reconnaissance pilot, declared missing in action after a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War on Nov. 2, 1969. Out of the clear blue she received information the location of a burial site where her father’s remains may be interred may be found.

It just so happens that President Barack Obama and his trusty sidekick U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, himself a Vietnam veteran of almost four months time in country are making a sojourn to Laos in September. Eger is hopeful she can enlist the aid of the dynamic duo in finding the location of her father’s remains.

In addition to political concerns, there are two roadblocks that may get in the way of the lady’s intentions. First the commie Laotian government still hates the US for the tons of bombs it dropped on its real estate. They are in no hurry to help find remains of persons who may have had a part in the aerial war that violently disturbed their bucolic country side. Another challenge to the lady comes from domestic political actions. The Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency or DPAA which is tasked with helping find MIA remains is being threatened with drastic budget cuts.

We wish Ms. Eger the best in the pursuit of her father’s remains. Here complete story in the podcast.


672 – A daughter’s Search for MIA remains in Laos — 3 Comments

  1. I would like to contact Nancy. My Dad was a good friend with her father and they played HS football together. Bill use to send us letters from Vietnam. I ‘m pretty sure I have one of those letters stashed away. Dad told me that this may have been one of the last letters that Bill sent out.

  2. I was just talking about this to a colleague. I wore Lt. Colonel Whitford Jr’s bracelet for many years as a child. I still have it safely stowed away. I had written letters to Mrs. Whitford as a young child so invested in the hope that Colonel Whitford would be found. It was my hope that one day we all would have that answer.

  3. Dear Nancy:
    Like yours, my Dad was an Air Force LT.Colonel…which led me to choose your Dad’s POW/MIA bracelet. I would pray for his safety and that he would return to his family. I watched the debarking of released POW’s, hoping to hear his name.
    I hope that one day you will be able to lay him to rest with all the honor and ceremony his sacrifice deserves. God bless you.

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