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Remains of Central Florida Colonel Missing in Vietnam Over 50 Years Found, to be Returned to Family

What to Know

  • The remains of Colonel Peter Stewart were found during an excavation in the country 52 years after he was listed as missing in action.
  • Stewart left behind his wife, Margaret, and six children. His now 94-year-old widow and their kids now can give their hero a proper burial.

A Central Florida family is final getting a sense of closure after the remains of their husband and father have been found – over a half century after his plane was shot down while serving in Vietnam.

The remains of Colonel Peter Stewart were found during an excavation in the country 52 years after he was listed as missing in action following the 1966 incident. Officials told his family that those remains will arrive back in time for Father’s Day so that he can be buried in his hometown of Winter Haven.

"I've been using the term bittersweet. It's tough, but I'm glad it's finally here," his son, Jim, told NBC affiliate WFLA-TV.

Stewart had flown 70 combat missions during World War II and later reenlisted for the Korean War before – at the age of 48 – joining again to fly combat missions during the Vietnam War starting in 1965.

Stewart left behind his wife, Margaret, and six children. His now 94-year-old widow and their kids now can give their hero a proper burial.

“It's hard to relate to and it's hard to explain it to others," said Jim. "Tears of happiness, we finally got closure on that,” Jim Stewart said.

The remains of Col. Stewart will arrive in Tampa from Hawai’i on Saturday, June 16th, where the family will greet him. A funeral mass is scheduled for two days later.

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