|Birth: ||May 22, 1943|
|Death: ||Mar. 1, 1969, Laos|
In Memory of Capt. Virgil Kersh Meroney III.
*** He will be buried in Fairview Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 9, 2012.
*** Group Burial at Arlington National Cemetery on Oct. 19, 2012.
*** Honolulu Memorial - His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.
You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in your family who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!
VIRGIL KERSH MERONEY - Air Force - CAPT - O3
Date of Birth May 22, 1943
From: FAYETTEVILLE, AR
Marital Status: Married
Hello, Here is the obituary published in todays listings for Mr. Meroney. He will be buried in Fairview Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Virgil K. Meroney III died March 1, 1969 in Laos, flying a mission during the Vietnam War. He was born May 22, 1943 in Pine Bluff to Col. Virgil K. Meroney and Mildred Duckett Meroney.
He preceded his family in death, his father died in 1980, his mother in 2009 and his wife Connie Younger Meroney on December 31, 2008.
He was a 1967 Graduate of the University of Arkansas and Air Force ROTC member. After graduation, Virgil was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Air Force and he went into flight school. Upon earning his Wings and volunteering for duty in Southeast Asia and after F-4D training at George AFB, he was assigned to an F-4D, Phantom II, Wing in Thailand, the same Wing as his father.
His father Colonel Virgil K. Meroney, was a career Air Force Officer and Fighter Pilot. Col. Meroney (then Capt.) was the first and only P-47 "Razorback" Thunderbolt ACE (with 9 aerial victories) of his entire Group (352nd Group, 487th Fighter Squadron) during WWII. After his unit transitioned to P-51's he was shot down on his 3rd P-51 combat mission over Germany, was immediately captured and was a POW guest for 1 year until his successful escape.
After successful initial orientation training, on January 14, 1969, Col. Virgil K. Meroney (Aircraft Commander) took his son Virgil K. Meroney III (Weapons System Specialist/Navigator) on his first Combat Mission in an F-4D, Phantom II, over North Vietnam. Three weeks later on February 7, 1969, his dad, on his last combat mission took his son again to the skies over SEA. Col. Virgil K. Meroney headed home Feb 8, 1969 to the US and was assigned "Chief of Safety" for the US Air Force at Langley AFB. Three weeks later, March 1, 1969, Virgil K. Meroney III along with Col. Wendell R. Keller were on a night bombing mission over Laos and were shot down and went missing. Numerous crash site investigations started in 1994 but the first crash site excavation did not occur until July, 2010. During the first excavation a portion of Maj. Keller's ID card was recovered and identified which positively correlated the site to be that of F-4D 66-8814. Additional crash site excavations were conducted in April, July and November, 2011. During the July 2011 excavation, 1Lt. (Capt.) Meroney's military ID card along with a religious Medallion belonging to Col. Wendell R. Keller were recovered.
He is survived by his daughter, Kimberly Townsend and her husband Jeremy of Houston, Texas; son, Kelly Meroney and his wife Angela of Fayetteville, Arkansas; brother, Douglas Meroney of Canon City, Colorado; four grandchildren, Madysen Meroney, Kadie Meroney, Richard Townsend, Charlie Townsend; two nephews, Michael Meroney and David Meroney.
Funeral service will be 1:00 pm Saturday June 9, 2012 at University Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas under the direction of Moore's Chapel in Fayetteville.
Burial will be in Fairview Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville following the service with full military honors.
Find A Grave contributor L Bruns.
His tour began on Mar 1, 1969
Casualty was on Mar 1, 1969
In LZ, LAOS
Hostile, died while missing, FIXED WING - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body was not recovered
Panel 30W - Line 6
On 1 March 1969, MAJ Wendell R. Keller, pilot, and 1LT Virgil K. Meroney III, co-pilot, launched as the lead aircraft in a flight of two from Nakhon Phanom Air Base, Thailand.
The target was a suspected storage area and vehicles moving through the mountains southwest of the Ban Karai Pass, Khammoune Province, Laos. A few seconds later, SHERMAN 02 observed a large explosion in the target area. SHERMAN 02 immediately attempted to make radio contact his lead but without success. Because the area was under total enemy control, no ground search was possible.
When formal search efforts were terminated Keller and Meroney were listed Missing in Action.
Mildred Louise Duckett Meroney (1921 - 2009)
Connie Jo Younger Meroney (1944 - 2008)*
Note: Looking for hometown location of his Memorial Headstone.
Fairview Memorial Gardens
Created by: Eddieb
Record added: Oct 13, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60036108