After 61 years, Wreaths Across America remembers lost heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine — March 1, 2023 — Sixty-one years ago on March 16, 1962, Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 (FTLF 739) and its crew departed on a secret mission sanctioned by President Kennedy, to fly to Vietnam. This secret Vietnam reconnaissance mission went missing with no trace of the plane or its passengers ever found. Onboard were 93 United States Army soldiers and 11 civilian crewmembers.
On Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 12pm ET, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) will be holding a special live ceremony to remember all those lost that day and honor their families. To watch this event live on Facebook, click here. (or go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1683985688739333)
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 not yet been added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. However, today many families and loved ones of these heroes still fight to have their loved ones recognized for their contributions to our freedom and shared history.
Presently, the only monument that bears the names of these American heroes was erected by a private citizen, Wreaths Across America founder Morrill Worcester, on his balsam tip land in Columbia Falls, Maine.
“When I first heard the story about this mission, I was shocked to learn that nothing has been done for these families,” said Morrill Worcester. “I said that day that we would do something to make sure these people are honored and remembered, and to hopefully give some closure to these families.”
The inscription on the FTLF 739 monument in Maine reads:
“Missing in action; Presumed dead. Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 went missing on March 16, 1962, with 93 U.S. Army soldiers on board. These men and their flight crew perished in what would become one of the biggest aviation mysteries out of the Vietnam War era.
THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES AND WHO REMAIN MISSING ARE INSCRIBED HERE SO THAT THEY WILL BE SAID ALOUD AND THEIR MEMORY WILL LIVE ON.”