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    After 59 Years, Senate Bill 2571 Gives The Families Of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 A New Hope

    COLUMBIA FALLS, ME — November 24, 2021 — Very little is known about what happened to Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, a military mission plane that went missing on March 16, 1962, with 93 US Army Soldiers on board and 11 crew members. Due to the complexities surrounding the mission, the names of all those who have been lost have not yet been added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. However, this past Saturday, August 21, the families of those lost received the good news that U.S. Senator Gary Peters introduced a bill to allow the American Servicemen onboard Flying Tiger Line Flight (FTLF) 739 to finally have their names placed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.

    The story of the ill-fated flight. https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/19520/News/447/?relatedId=0

    This bill introduction stems from a kind gesture by Wreaths Across America Founder Morrill Worchester. On May 15, 2001, Mr. Worchester donated land from his property known as “The Tip-land” in Columbia Falls, ME. The Tip-land is where balsam trees are sustainably managed and pruned once every three years to make veterans’ remembrance wreaths to be placed on the headstones of our nation’s heroes on Wreaths Across America Day (December 18th, 2021.)  On the land he donated, he erected a monument to FTLF 739 and invited all known living family and descendants of the ill-fated flight to attend its unveiling.

     Video: What is a remembrance wreath: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=5_-EW6a_VAs)

    This simple gesture became a media sensation, as almost 2000 articles (Radio, TV, Newspaper, and internet) were written, reaching out to over 2 billion people from around the world. This media effort helped connect over 30 new families associated with the history of FTLF 739. Some of these new families shared their history and included such stories as:

    • A woman who was married just two weeks before the flight left and awaited her newly wed husband for a honeymoon she never had.
    • One of Bob hope’s USO tour Pilots and the inspiration for his granddaughter to become a pilot
    • Being credited as the life affirming driving force for 1 Fortune 500 CEO.
    • And creating a family healing moment as a family, scattered across the US, tuned into the social media ceremony via conference call, so they could all watch and discuss their families legacy together.

    Despite the kindness of the media and the success of this outreach, there are still more families that need to be identified so that they may all take part in the process of the next leg of this journey.

    As A. Phillip Waite, Chief, Strategic Engagement, The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration stated at the unveiling of the FTLF 739 monument on “The Tip-Lands,” “This monument is a first-step, there are many to come.”

    1. Phillip Waite, Chief, Strategic Engagement, The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration stated at the unveiling of the FTLF 739 monument https://www.dropbox.com/s/4n4cx7avpsv4n2v/IMG_0121.MOV?dl=0

    For many in attendance at the monument unveiling in May, they were surprised and delighted to hear that this was not the last-leg of they journey. As prior attempts to have families recognized have either been met with failure or stalled on the way to competition such as Senate bill 1891. However, The introduction of this new Senate bill, 2571 gives new hope to the families that their loved ones contributions and sacrifice for our freedoms and that their service will be recognized federally ahead of the 60th anniversary of this memorable mission commissioned by John F. Kennedy.

    Wreaths Across America is the non-profit organization best known for placing wreaths on veteran’s headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. However, in 2020, the organization placed more than 1.7 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths at 2,557 participating locations nationwide.

    You can sponsor a veteran’s wreath anytime for $15 at www.wreathacrossamerica.org. Each sponsorship goes toward a live, balsam wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero as we endeavor to honor all veterans laid to rest at noon on Saturday, December 18, 2021, as part of National Wreaths across America Day.

    Click here to find a local participating cemetery near you to support go to and type in your town and/or state.

    # # #

    About Wreaths Across America

    Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. 

    For more information watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dy6PE37g2k

    or to sponsor a wreath please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

    Press Contacts:

    Sean Sullivan
    Wreaths Across America – Public Relations Liaison

    [email protected]
    (207) 230-4599


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