The Rock County Sheriff's Office has announced they will be assisting the Evansville Police Department in returning the body of an airman previously MIA home to Rock County.
The sheriff's department says in a press release that United States Air Force Airman 2nd Class Edward J Miller was missing in action for nearly 70 years after his C-124 Globemaster plane went down near Anchorage, Alaska on November 22, 1952. There were 52 fatalities in that crash and Miller was one of them. The aircraft was not located until 2012. The remains that were located have slowly been removed from the crash site, and DNA has been used to determine identities.
Detective Luke DuCharme of the Rock County Sheriff's Office said that the Sheriff's office learned on Monday of A2C Miller's return, and that the airman's family is very excited. They have been only able to hear stories of this man from 70 years ago, and he doesn't have very much family left, but DuCharme said he is glad the family is able to get closure. DuCharme also said the Rock County Sheriff's Office organized the event through phone calls.
Amazingly, Miller isn't the first Rock County resident to be returned from this crash. On July 28, 2016, the remains of United States Airman 1st Class George M Ingram were returned to Beloit. DuCharme said this is a bit unusual to have two people from the same incident in the same area, but he was able to put two and two together when he saw where A2C Miller was coming from. DuCharme also said he was happy to give two families closure regarding their relative.
On Friday, the Rock County Sheriff's Office and Evansville Police, along with the Air Force Honor Guard, VetsRoll, and the Ward-Hartley Funeral Home, will escort A2C Miller's body from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport to Evansville. The flight is scheduled to arrive at 4:46 PM. According to the sheriff's office, the route is as follows:
- South I-43 to Exit 15 (Darien – USH 14) in Walworth County
- USH 14 to the Rock County line
- North on E CTH M in Rock County to the City of Milton
- E CTH M through the City of Milton to N USH 51
- North on N USH 51 to W CTH M
- West on W CTH M through Indianford to Fulton
- South on N CTH H in Fulton to W CTH M
- West on W CTH M to W USH 14
- West on W USH 14 through the City of Evansville
- W USH 14 to S 5th St in Evansville
- South on S 5th St to Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home
The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office will begin the escort and numerous law enforcement agencies and fire departments will be assisting, including the Wisconsin State Patrol, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office,Rock County Sheriff’s Office, Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, City of Evansville Police/Fire Departments, City of Milton Police Department, and Town of Fulton Police Department. The Rock County Sheriff's Office will run the escort, but the other agencies will participate when the escort reaches their jurisdiction. Motorists should prepare for disruptions, primarily in the area of US Highway 14 and County Highway M. The escort will operate at normal speed on Interstate 43.
Any civilians looking to honor A2C Miller are welcome to participate with waving flags and signs, but are reminded that this is a solemn occasion and those who participate are asked to put their hand over their heart when the processional comes through your area.
The Rock County Sheriff's Office will provide processional updates on Facebook.
A2C Miller will be laid to rest on Saturday at Maple Hill Cemetery in Evansville, and a public burial is scheduled for 1 PM.