New Hampshire Man Hopeful His Father Is Among Remains Returned By North Korea
This is a story that gets me right in the heart. Rick Downes, of Portsmouth hasn't seen his dad since he was three years old. Rick's father, Lt. Harold “Hal” Downes, was shot down over North Korea while aboard a B-26 Bomber Marauder, during the Korean War. He has been missing ever since.
Rick is hopeful that his dad will be among the fifty-five servicemen's remains that are being returned to the Untied States by North Korea later this week.
WMUR says, as the president of the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POWs and MIAs, Rick is working closely with U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, of New Hampshire, in order to get his dad’s remains, and others, back to the United States.
Two years ago, according to the story by WMUR, he flew to Pyongyang in an attempt to bring home the remains of his dad, and remains of the 5,300 American servicemen still missing in action in North Korea. While he was able to fly over the spot where his father's plane crashed, he was unable to bring him home.
Rick tells WMUR that he's on "pins and needles" as they await word if his dad is among the servicemen. A formal ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday in South Korea. The remains of the military members will then be identified using DNA testing.
As a veteran of the United States Air Force, I am hopeful that Rick can finally lay his dad to rest and finally have some sort of closure.