Dozens attend funeral for missing airman found decades after plane crash

MADISON, Wis. — United States Second Class Airman Edward Miller made his last trip to his final resting place in Evansville on Saturday after being lost for nearly 70 years.

Miller was found and brought home decades after a severe storm crash landed him and 52 other servicemen on the plane in a remote Alaskan mountain range.

On Saturday, Maple Hill Cemetery was filled with Miller’s family, fellow service people, and the community that calls him a hero.

Korean War veteran Gordon Faust said at 89 he tries to make it to the funerals of anyone that’s considered a Korean War vet.

“It’s just that they put their life on the line whether it’s hostile or not hostile,” Faust said. “Their service should be recognized and that’s the least I can do.”

Miller’s homecoming is thanks in part to the efforts of one woman whose grandfather, Airman Isaac Williams Anderson Sr., also died in the 1952 crash.

Tonja Anderson-Dell said she wrote a letter in 1999 to the military in the hopes that they would find Anderson and bring closure for her grandmother.

“She said, ‘Ok I’m ready for the flag now’ and so that started my quest,” said Anderson-Dell of her grandmother.

According to Anderson-Dell volunteer search people were able to find her grandfather and now she wants closure for all 52 airmen and their families.

“For me it’s just a bond,” she added. “Our men died together and the families–their death brought us all together one way or another.”

Anderson-Dell also said she wants to raise awareness for service men and women who are considered “Operational Loss,” meaning there is no governmental agency in place to look for them.

Those who knew Miller said he’ll be remembered for his upbeat personality, warm smile and ability to have fun.

Volunteer efforts to find the remaining 6 or 7 lost servicemen are still underway.