Korean War Soldier listed as missing in action for nearly 70 years receives flyover salute at burial in Wisconsin
SUPERIOR, Wis., by Master Sgt. Erik Figi— A Wisconsin native killed in action during the Korean War received a flyover salute from Wisconsin Army National Guard helicopters during his burial nearly 70 years after going missing in action in 1950.
United States Army Cpl. Francis J. Rochon served as a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during the Korean War.
On September 1, 1950, near Changnyeong, South Korea, he was reported as missing in action. The U.S. Army officially declared Rochon deceased December 31, 1953, and confirmed his remains non-recoverable January 16, 1956. Nearly 70 years later, on June 18, 2020, Rochon’s remains were accounted for.
On Saturday, July 25, 2020, he received a burial with military honors at the Summit Cemetery in Foxboro, Wisconsin. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation, provided a military flyover of the ceremony to pay tribute to Rochon’s service and sacrifice.
First Lt. Meredith L. Porter, a pilot with Company A, 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation, who piloted one of the Black Hawks, spoke to the honor of affording this service to a fallen Soldier.
“For a KIA to be laid to rest after 70 years—that was pretty incredible—and for us to be there to pay our respects, it was an honor for us, and I’m sure the entire crew.”
Sgt. Zachary D. Hoy, also assigned to Company A and a crew chief on the mission, underscored the importance of this type of mission.
“For me, it’s great to honor him and his family,” he said. “To give some of our time to go do that awesome flyover for his family—to try and think about all the time in life he missed out on and his family missed out on to be with him—it’s great to give tribute and pay it back in some way, shape, or form.”
Rochon was 21 years old when reported missing in action. His name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with others still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
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