Episode 2780 –Air Force Col. Ernest Leo De Soto’s remains returned home 55 years after his disappearance in Vietnam

U.S. Air Force Col. Ernest L. De Soto, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

Airmen from the 60th Air Mobility Wing Honor Guard conduct a funeral for U.S. Air Force Col. Ernest L. De Soto at Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, Calif., June 30, 2023. De Soto was accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on March 23, 2023, and returned to his family for burial with full military honors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexander Merchak)

Episode 2780 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about U.S. Air Force pilot Col. Ernest Leo De Soto and his remains that were returned home after a 55 year delay. The featured story appeared on the U.S, Air Force website and was titled: Vietnam War pilot returns home. It was submitted by the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs.

 In the story it was reported that: after 54 years, the remains of U.S. Air Force pilot Col. Ernest Leo De Soto, who went missing during the Vietnam War, have finally come home.

De Soto’s remains arrived at the San Francisco International Airport June 29 from Pearl Harbor, where his family was escorted by military personnel to the tarmac in a solemn procession. A memorial service was held June 30 at Our Lady of Angels Church in Burlingame, California, followed by full military honors at the Golden Gate National Cemetery.

When asked about how it feels for Ernest to finally be home, his wife Joyce said it was a miracle.

He is one of more than 1,060 service members who have been identified through Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency efforts to recover the remains of service members lost in the Vietnam War.

On April 12, 1969, De Soto was piloting an F-4D Phantom II assigned to the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 336th Tactical Fighter Wing, alongside his navigator, Capt. Frederick M. Hall and another aircraft on a combat mission. As they returned from a cancelled strike mission near Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, both aircraft ascended into heavy cloud cover. The lead aircraft noticed De Soto and Hall’s plane wasn’t in sight and immediately began an aerial search.

Listen to episode 2780 and discover more about U.S. Air Force pilot Col. Ernest Leo De Soto and his remains that were returned home after a 55 year delay.

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