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Murray Meets with Kennewick Woman Searching for Vietnam Era Pilot’s Remains, Pushes Defense Dept. to Act

Jun 12 2014

Murray to Defense Dept.: Bring home remains of USAF Major San D. Francisco

Senator Murray MeetsTerry Farrell
Download additional high quality photos from the meeting HERE and HERE.

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) met with Terri Francisco-Farrell of Kennewick, who, after learning of the circumstances surrounding her brother’s death during the Vietnam War, has been trying to have his remains brought home for burial in the United States. Her brother, Air Force Major San D. Francisco, was shot down over Vietnam in November of 1968, but his remains, which U.S. and Vietnamese officials believe are located at a site in the Quanf Binh province, have not yet been recovered.  

“We owe it to Terri and her family to do everything we can to bring her brother’s remains home after all these years,” Senator Murray said.  “My office and I have been working with Terri and her family on this case for several years now, and I will continue to fight on her behalf until Major Francisco is finally brought home.”

Today, Sen. Murray urged top U.S. Department of Defense officials to expedite the time-sensitive mission to bring Major Francisco’s remains back to the United States.  The programs in charge of missions to recover the remains of U.S. military personnel, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), are currently in the process of being consolidated, and Sen. Murray’s letter was sent to the official overseeing the JPAC/DPMO consolidation.  Ms. Francisco-Farrell is concerned that consolidation will further delay the search for her brother’s remains.  In June of 2012, Senator Murray sent a letter on behalf of Ms. Francisco-Farrell to Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command enquiring into the ongoing efforts to recover Major Francisco. 

The full text of the letter sent today by Senator Murray is below:

Ms. Alisa Stack
Director
Personnel Accounting Consolidation Task Force
Pentagon

Ms. Stack:

I write on behalf of my constituent Terri Francisco-Farrell, sister of Major San Dewayne Francisco.  On November 25, 1968 Major Francisco was shot down over North Vietnam while flying an escort mission.  According to reports, Major Francisco and his co-pilot Lt. Col. Joseph Morrison were able to parachute out successfully but could not be rescued due to enemy fire.  While Major Francisco has been declared dead by a Presumptive Finding of Death hearing, his family still wishes for the recovery and return of his remains.  Major Francisco’s family believes his remains are in the Quang Binh province, one of the areas now accessible to Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in recent years.

I am concerned that recovery of Major Francisco’s remains could potentially be jeopardized by the merger of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced in March of this year.  Major Francisco’s family has waited for 46 years for the return of their loved one and the first hand witnesses to his burial living in Vietnam are now of very advanced age.  Without action in the near future, these witnesses may not live to assist in the recovery of Major Francisco’s remains.  I am requesting that the current Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command efforts continue under the new merged command and actions be taken to recover the remains of Major Francisco as soon as possible.

Thank you for your assistance with this important matter.