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Academy lays MIA grad to rest after 39 years

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- A 1961 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate and missing in action Airman returns home after 39 years in Southeast Asia.

A funeral service for Maj. Burke Morgan, a Manitou Springs, Colo., native, will be held Sept. 7 at the Air Force Academy Chapel and Cemetery.

Major Morgan, a navigator on a Douglas A-26A "Invader," was assigned a mission over the Plain of Jars region of Laos Aug. 22, 1967. During the mission, radar and radio contact was lost and his aircraft was declared missing at the time of estimated fuel exhaustion.

About four years later, unspecified evidence was received by the Department of the Air Force that Major Morgan and the pilot of his A-26A, Maj. John C. G. Kerr, died at the time of the incident. At that time, they were declared killed in action. 

The remains of Major Morgan were recovered in Laos Feb. 17, 2005, and identified Oct. 31, 2005. He will be buried next to his wife, Mary, who was buried here Feb. 6.

He is one of 168 individuals listed on the War Memorial here, honoring academy graduates who have fallen in battle.