Vietnam War Hero’s Remains Returned Home to Maine

lt taylor rangely maine

Fifty years after he was killed, a Vietnam war hero has finally received a proper burial.

The remains of Lt. Neil Taylor returned home to Rangeley, Maine, Monday afternoon. Lt. Taylor was a Navy pilot in the Vietnam War. In his 68th and final mission, he was shot down by enemy fire.

His family knew he was gone, but never had his body. For years, the military could not gain access to the land where Taylor's plane crashed.

Just a few months ago, a forensic military unit was able to confirm with DNA that they finally located his remains.

According to Rangeley Town Manager and Fire Chief Tim Pellerin, Taylor's sister and only living blood relative initially wanted a quiet burial -- but the community convinced her to allow them to do something much bigger.

At noon Monday, a procession of law enforcement, veterans groups, and community members went through downtown Rangeley and to a cemetery, where Lt. Taylor was given a funeral with full military honors, and navy fighter jets flew overhead.

"That's an American hero, and he deserved to have the flag wave for him today," said Chief Pellerin.

Lt. Taylor was posthumously awarded the Maine State Gold Star, and Governor Paul LePage issued a proclamation that September 14th will be known as Lt. Taylor Remembrance Day in Maine.

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