An Air Force captain who died in the Vietnam War has been buried with full military honors after his remains were positively identified 43 years after his plane went down in Laos.
Air Force Capt. Clyde W. Campbell, 24, of Longview, Texas, was last seen March 1, 1969, piloting an A-1J Skyraider aircraft above Laos, carrying out an air-support mission when he crashed. Air Force controllers reported hearing an explosion at the time of the crash, which they thought were the Skyraider's bombs. They later found out that it was the sound of the aircraft's crash.
His widow, Diane Campbell, still recalls seeing her young husband off to fight he war.
"He was the love of my life."
- Diane Campbell
"I watched him walk out to the plane on October 26, 1968, that's the last time I saw him. He wrote me every day. He was doing what he loved to do," Campbell's widow Diane told MyFoxAL.
In 1997 a joint U.S.-Laso recovery team discovered and investigated a crash, where they found human remains. From 2009-2010, they recovered additional equipment, including a pistol matching the serial number on the gun issued to Campbell.
Campbell worked as a fly cover for search and rescue missions, but was flying a strike mission on the day of the crash.
"I am among the fortunate because there are so many who have not been recovered," Diane Campbell said. "We united ourselves to get something done and to make sure our men weren't forgotten. I have always been Clyde's wife. He was the love of my life."
Campbell was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.