Lost Vietnam Veteran Buried In Longview - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

7/30/05-Longview

Lost Vietnam Veteran Buried In Longview

40 years ago, Major Arthur Baker's plane went down in southeast Asia. Today, the Longview air force navigator was finally laid to rest in East Texas, with full military honors.

"This year on his birthday I'll have a place to go to lay flowers on his grave" says Baker's daughter, Valerie Baker.

In April 1965 Baker's B-57 Canberra went down in Laos, and for four decades his family didn't know what happened. An excavation team recently found his remains and identified him and his pilot on the mission, Colonel James Lewis, both through DNA.

"We've brought some heroes home and this is a way to close it out and get on with our lives" says Colonel Lewis son David Lewis.

"I feel honored for my father he was proud to serve his country, he loved his family" Valerie says.

A 21 gun salute, and taps performed by air force personnel, and a B-52 flyover. His family and friends say it was a chance to thank him and welcome him home, in a way he deserved.

"I just feel really proud I think he's left a wonderful legacy for me and my children, faith, love and fighting for what you believe in," says Baker's granddaughter, Georgia Gentry.

Colonel James Lewis, Baker's pilot on that last mission, is also from east Texas. He will be buried in Marshall August 13th. Both Baker and Lewis will be memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. in September.

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