09/12/04 — POW/MIA dinner planned

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POW/MIA dinner planned

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on September 12, 2004 2:03 AM

Military personnel still missing in action from combat and those who suffered as prisoners of war will be honored Saturday.

Wayne County has four missing in action from the Vietnam War -- Murray Lyman Borden, Edgar Felton Davis, Joseph Nelson Hargrove and William Carl Sutton -- and some of their family members will be in attendance to pay tribute to their sacrifices.

The POW/MIA dinner will be at 7 p.m. at the Goldsboro Elks Lodge at 105 E. Chestnut St.

Dennis Lewis, event organizer, said there are 44 military members from North Carolina who are still missing in action from Vietnam. Forty of the names have been placed on a go-cart and the family members of the four from Wayne County will place the last four names on it during the event.

Lewis plans to have the go-cart on display during festivals across the county and hopes to raise around $30,000 to endow a scholarship in their names.

Also scheduled to attend the dinner is the 4th Fighter Wing commander, Col. James M. Holmes; the wing vice commander, Col. Donald Jurewicz; a major and colonel from Ft. Bragg; retired Col. Joe Marm, a Medal of Honor recipient; Alan Hoffman, a news anchor for WNCT-TV, who will be the emcee; and two original members of the Tuskegee Airmen, who will receive the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

The Tuskegee Airmen were a fighting group of black aviators during World War II. The group was formed and trained in Tuskegee, Ala., and they achieved success by flying the P-51 and protecting allied bombers from enemy attack. They never lost a bomber they were protecting to enemy fire. Overall, they flew over 15,000 sorties and 200 missions.

The guest speaker will be Maj. Eric A. Patterson, commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group at Ft. Bragg. It is the only training unit in the Army authorized to conduct high-risk survival, evasion, resistance and escape training. Its mission is to teach soldiers how to survive if they become separated from their unit and to avoid capture.

There will also be a missing-man table and honors ceremony. The table will be reserved with six empty spaces representing the men still missing from each of the five services -- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard -- and civilians. Seymour Johnson's Honor Guard will move into position around the table and simultaneously place covers of the different services and a civilian hat on each dinner plate.

The event is open to everyone and tickets are $10. To purchase one or for more information, call 735-3131 or 242-9620.