(Courtesy Iowa Radio News’ Dar Danielson) – Governor Terry Branstad has ordered that all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff today to honor a northeast Iowa sailor who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1967.
Donald McGrane of Waverly was anti-submarine warfare technician aboard a Sea King helicopter that took off from the USS Hornet to rescue a downed pilot on July 19th of 1967.
The helicopter was targeted by a hidden enemy gun as it flew in and was hit and crashed, killing McGrane and three other crewmembers. Boxes with remains of U.S. servicemen –including McGrane– were turned over to the U.S. in 1982, but it wasn’t until 2009 that McGrane’s remains were identified.
Prior to that identification, investigations in 1994 and 2000 had confirmed the helicopter crash site and remains of other crewmembers were recovered. McGrane and the other three crewmembers were buried together at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
The flags are to be flown at half-staff from 8 A.M. until 5 P.M. today.