Thursday, December 13, 2007

Remains of Fallen MIA Vietnam War Pilot Return to Le Mars

Lt. j.g. Norman L. Roggow, who was killed in action Oct. 8, 1967, yet had been missing in action (MIA) for the past 40 years will finally be put to rest next to his parents Friday in Le Mars.

In honor of Roggow’s service and sacrifice, Gov. Chet Culver has ordered all flags in the state to be flown at half staff on Friday, Dec. 14. Services, beginning at 11 a.m., will be held at the Grace Lutheran Church in Le Mars. Surviving members of Roggow’s family will be presented with a POW bracelet, a bronze plaque, a grave marker, the American flag and a videotape of his memorial service.

"It finally gets to the point where all questions to Norman's disappearance have been answered and our family is grateful to now have closure as he finally returns home,” Myron Pingel of Cherokee, a second cousin of Roggow's, told The Sioux City Journal.

The POW/Missing Personnel Office in the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C., announced Oct. 24 that the remains of five servicemen, including Roggow, had been accounted for and would be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Roggow was one of five Navy personnel whose E-1B Tracer plane was reported missing Oct. 8, 1967, while returning to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany. Records indicate that radar contact with the aircraft was lost approximately ten miles northwest of Da Nang, Vietnam, and adverse weather conditions hampered immediate search efforts.

Three days later, the plane wreckage was located by a search helicopter on the face of a steep mountain in Da Nang Province but the challenging terrain and hostile forces in the area prevented a ground recovery.

Roggow was a member of the Brook Country School class of 1959, the last class to graduate from the rural school located north of Aurelia. He is survived by three sisters, Connie Fraser, Marva Hanson and Diane Roggow, and a brother, Curtis Roggow.

Originally posted on "Iowa Independent"

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