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Monett VFW pays tribute to Captain Thomas Wolfe, Vietnam Airman declared missing in 1966

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 10:06 PM CDT
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) - The Monett Veterans of Foreign Wars honored Vietnam Airman Captain Thomas Wolfe on Saturday, erecting signs on U.S. Route 60 dedicated to the hero missing in action.

Captain Thomas Wolfe was declared missing in action on June 28, 1966. He was flying an A-26 aircraft when he and two other pilots were shot down and lost in the mountains of Laos along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

On Saturday, the Monett community gathered to dedicate the Hero’s Way highway signs honoring Captain Wolfe.

“A long time coming in doing this. It should have been done a long time ago, but a group of us got together and decided now is the time to do it,” said Gale Huffmaster, member of the Monett VFW.

Several members of Wolfe’s family unveiled the sign at the ceremony.

“I was very grateful that they chose to honor my father in this way. Our particular story is no different than any other gold star family on Memorial Day, a very important day. So I was very grateful they chose to do this,” said Valerie Wolfe daughter of Thomas Wolfe.

It wasn’t until recently that the crash site was able to be visited. The family still awaits the positive identification of remains. Wolfe was just 28 years old when he was declared missing.

“My father was no different than so many of the men that volunteered and chose to serve in the war of his generation, and we’ve had so many others since then. He answered the call to service, and unfortunately in his case, he was unlucky enough to have that full price be asked of him,” said Valerie Wolfe.

Saturday’s ceremony showcased a community coming together to remember a fallen hero.

“That would be my message today is make this country worth sacrificing for,” said Wolfe.

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