ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — In July 1969, during the Vietnam War, Maj. James Sizemore and his co-pilot Maj. Howard Andre were shot down and killed while flying a nighttime combat mission over Laos.
Both men’s remains were unaccounted for until last year, when teams from the United States and Laos finally excavated the crash site. The pilots were positively identified in April, and they were buried side-by-side Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.
Their families decided the friends, who were also classmates at Georgia Tech before the war, should remain together, as they have been for the past 45 years.
Because of sequestration, however, the Air Force did not provide the “missing man” flyover traditionally provided for fallen military pilots.
Instead, a Virginia-based nonprofit group made up of veteran pilots flew their own planes over the ceremony. An A-26 Invader like the one the men died in was included in the formation.
While the members of the group, Warrior Aviation, have donated their time, the fuel for the gesture cost $24,000. The families are trying to raise those funds, but as of Friday, they were $18,000 short.
To donate funds for the flyover, click here.
WNEW Senior Correspondent Mark Segraves is a general assignment reporter for NBC 4 and host of NewsPlus on DC 50 TV. He contributed to this report.
(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)