His plane was shot down 50 years ago over Vietnam and he was never found. But after 50 long years U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Lawrence Woods finally got his rightful burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Sergeant Woods was on a resupply mission to a U.S. military camp in Bu Prang, Vietnam aboard a C-123 Provider plane when the aircraft came under heavy enemy fire on Oct. 24, 1964. The plane was shot down and all seven brave men aboard perished, including Woods. While the remains of the other six men were recovered, remains of Sergeant Woods could not be found at the time.
In December 2009 and January 2010, a joint American and Vietnamese team excavated a site where the plane went down to search for Woods’ remains. While they found human remains, they could not conclusively identify them as belong to the missing soldier.
Woods, along with his fellow crew members, were buried in a single coffin as part of group burial. The other soldiers are Air Force Capt. Valmore W. Bourque, Air Force 1st Lt. Robert G. Armstrong, Air Force Staff Sgt. Ernest J. Halvorson, Air Force Staff Sgt. Theodore B. Phillips, Air Force Airman 1st Class Eugene Richardson, Army Pfc. Charles P. Sparks.
“Therefore today, they were all buried in this one ceremony to include Wood,” Lt. Col. Melina Morgan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Defense’s POW/Missing Person’s Office, told the newspaper.
The Arlington ceremony wasn’t the only one that took place for Woods. His hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee held a memorial service, attended by two of his grandsons and their families.
1642 soldiers who served in Vietnam remain missing to this day.