Thursday, March 31, 2005

Home from the Long War

There are 129 Americans still listed as Missing in Action from the Cold War. Many went missing in operations few Americans ever knew about. The remains of one -- Robert C Snoddy of Roseburg, Oregon -- have been identified after their return from China. A statement from the Pentagon sums up his final mission in America's longest war:

"Snoddy and his pilot, Norman A. Schwartz, took off from an airfield near Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 29, 1952, with two other crewmembers to extract a CIA operative from China. The mission in the Jilin province of northeast China was planned to pick up the agent on the ground with an airborne extraction system. Unfortunately, the Chinese had compromised the agent on the ground, and when the C-47 aircraft flew over the pickup point it was shot down by hostile ground fire. Snoddy and Schwartz were reportedly killed, and two other crewmembers, Richard G. Fecteau and John T. Downey, were captured by the Chinese and held until 1971 and 1973, respectively."

Only 19 MIAs from the Cold War have ever been identified. (DoD)

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