Funeral set for Air Force pilot shot down over Vietnam

By AMANDA MILKOVITS | The Providence Journal, R.I. | Published: September 7, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Tribune News Service) — Fifty-three years after his plane was shot down over the jungles of North Vietnam, Vietnam War pilot Lt. Col. Fredric Moore Mellor is coming home for burial.

The remains of Mellor, an Air Force pilot from Cranston, will arrive in Rhode Island later this month for a funeral at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter.

Mellor had been missing since Aug. 13, 1965, when he was flying the lead RF-101 aircraft on a mission to conduct photo and visual reconnaissance of a suspected surface-to-air missile site in Son La Province. Enemies on the ground shot down Mellor's plane, and while he ejected and managed to make radio contact, rescue helicopters were unable to find him.

Mellor was declared missing and then dead. At 30, he left behind a young wife and a daughter, who was turning 5.

Then this summer, searchers discovered Mellor's remains in the area where his plane crashed.

In arrangements made with Mellor's wife and daughter, the Air Force has announced a ceremony for the return of the fallen pilot's body and for a funeral.

The dignified arrival of Mellor's casket is scheduled for Sept. 26, at 12:11 p.m., at T.F. Green Airport.

Public visitation will be held Sept. 27, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Nardolillo Funeral Home, 1278 Park Ave., Cranston.

A graveside funeral service with full military honors will be held at the veterans cemetery on Sept. 28 at 11 a.m.


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