Sunday: Family completes mission to bring WWII Marine home
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Saturday, May 05, 2012
5/05/12 at 3:40 PM
Jutting upward out of the thick jungle brush, the gigantic propeller was the first thing that Craig Anderson and his companions saw.
“The shivers just went all down my spine. I thought, ‘We’re here,’” Anderson said of the memorable moment, when he finally laid eyes on his uncle Walter “Dub” Vincent’s long-lost B-25.
The propeller’s blades, rusting away on the remote South Pacific island where the plane had crashed, had not spun in years — but Anderson’s spirits suddenly soared.
The end of his family’s mission was at last in sight — to bring the late Vincent, a Marine second lieutenant who disappeared along with his plane and crewmates during World War II, home to Tulsa.
On Saturday, Vincent’s relatives, including Anderson and others who made an expedition to the crash site in 2007, gathered at Memorial Park Cemetery for a graveside service, officially bringing the long family saga to an emotional close.
Vincent, 21, whose remains were recovered after the family expedition, was declared missing after his B-25 bomber went down on April 22, 1944. Later, Vincent, the plane’s navigator-bombardier, and six crew members were declared dead.
Read the complete story in Sunday's World.
Marines escort the casket of WWII Marine Walter "Dub" Vincent of Tulsa to his burial site at Memorial Park Cemetery Saturday. Vincent's remains were recently recovered from a South Pacific Island crash site and returned to Tulsa. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
2nd Lt. Walter Burt "Dub" Vincent Jr.