After more than 50 years, a northeast Oklahoma soldier will be coming home.
Air Force Col. and MIA Ronald Scott’s remains were recently identified, and be coming to Claremore next week to be honored in a graveside service in a Claremore cemetery.
According to information provided by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Arlington, Va., on March 15, 1966, Scott was a member of Headquarters, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, as the aircraft commander and wingman of a two-seater F-4C aircraft in a flight of two on an armed reconnaissance mission over northern Vietnam.
The lead aircraft spotted two vehicles as the flight approached the target area and the pilot of Scott's aircraft responded that he was going to strafe the trucks. The flight leader observed an explosion in the area of the target and immediately attempted to contact Scott's aircraft. No parachutes or emergency signals were seen, and all attempts to contact Scott and his pilot were unsuccessful. An organized search was not possible due to hostilities in the area. Scott was subsequently declared missing in action.
In November 2014, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) recovery team conducted recovery operations at a possible F-4C crash site in Dien Bien District, Dien Bien Province.
Material evidence and possible osseous material was recovered and sent to the Central Identification Laboratory for analysis. Additional recovery operations were conducted in late 2015 and late 2016, and all recovered remains were sent to the laboratory for analysis.
Scott was recently identified through mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, as well as dental analysis and circumstantial evidence, and his remains will be returning to Oklahoma next week.
Scott is survived by sons, Ron and Mark Scott.
Graveside services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 in Woodlawn Cemetery in Claremore under the direction of local funeral home Rice Funeral Services.
Additional information about Scott’s return to northeast Oklahoma and how to honor Scott as his procession enters Claremore will be provided at a later time.