In remembrance of the 60th anniversary of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 which disappeared with service on March 16

Sixty years ago, on March 16, 1962, Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 was on a secret mission, sanctioned by President Kennedy, to Vietnam.

This secret Vietnam reconnaissance mission has disappeared and no trace of the plane or its passengers has ever been found.

On board were 93 US Army soldiers, three South Vietnamese soldiers and 11 civilian crew members.

The flight manifest included three people from Illinois who were aboard this missing flight: Sgt. Donald Aaron Barnes of Granite City, Private Donald W. Henderson of Mount Auburn and Private Lawrence R. Perkins of Chicago.

On Wednesday, March 16, Wreaths Across America will broadcast a live event to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739. The event will be streamed live at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time on Wreaths Across America’s Facebook. page and on Wreaths Across America Radio which can also be heard through the iHeart Radio app, or by downloading it from the App Store or Google!

Very little is known about what happened to FTLF 739, its crew and passengers, and due to the circumstances surrounding this mission, the names of those lost have yet to be added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. DC.


On Wednesday, March 16, Wreaths Across America will broadcast a live event to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739.
– Courtesy of Wreaths Across America


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

However, today, many families and loved ones of these heroes are still fighting to have their loved ones recognized for their contributions to our freedom and our shared history.

Currently, the only monument that bears the names of these nearly forgotten American heroes was erected by private citizen, Wreaths Across America founder Morrill Worcester on the tip of Columbia Falls, Maine, where the commemoration of the 60th anniversary.

“When I first heard the story of this mission, I was shocked to learn that nothing had been done for these families,” Worcester said. “I said that day that we would do something to make sure these people were honored and remembered, and to hopefully give these families a little bit of a hard time.”

The inscription on the monument reads: ‘Missing in action; Presumed dead. Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 disappeared on March 16, 1962, with 93 U.S. Army soldiers on board. These men and their crew perished in what would become one of Vietnam War-era aviation’s greatest mysteries.The names of those who gave their lives and are still missing are listed here so that they may be spoken aloud and that their memory lives on.

This private memorial is the only recognition the heroes of FTLF 739 have ever received for their shared sacrifice to our nation. However, this may change. Senator Gary Peters (Michigan) introduced Senate Bill 2571 which is supported by Senators Blackburn (Tennessee), Stabenow (Michigan) and Shaheen (New Hampshire). This bill currently sitting on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee seeks to add these long-forgotten heroes to the list of names at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.

“As an Army veteran who has had the privilege of serving alongside so many incredible patriots serving in our Special Operations and Intelligence communities, I know we may never have the opportunity to share the full story of the sacrifice of these men,” said Joe Reagan, director of military and veteran outreach for Wreaths Across America. “That shouldn’t stop us from offering their families and all Americans the opportunity to honor their service by saying their names in our nation’s capital. Adding their names to the Vietnam Wall alongside their 58,318 brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War is a fitting tribute to these men and a reminder to all of us that our freedom is often secured by men and women who serve in silence.”



A 1962 newspaper article on

A 1962 newspaper article on “Troop plane with 107 missing; Lost at sea in Viet flight.”
– Courtesy of Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America, which seeks to connect with family members of these missing men, encourages the community to write to their senators and ask them to add the names associated with Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 to the Memorial of the Vietnam War.

Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery started by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission — Remember, Honor, Teach — is achieved in part each year by coordinating December wreath-laying ceremonies in Arlington, as well as thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations. in all 50 states and beyond.

For more information, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

About Theresa Burton

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