May 24, 2011 11:29 AM by David Ortiviz
A 45-year old mystery has finally been solved and it brings closure for a military family in Canon City. In 1966, an air force pilot went missing in the Vietnam war. For decades his loved ones have been waiting for word as to what happened to him--now they know.
"He was really a hero," said Stephanie Boston Danielson. Her father is Col. Leo Syndey Boston, an air force pilot.
"I was very proud of him," said Edythe Boston, Col. Boston's 98-year old mother.
Boston was fighting in Vietnam. On April 29, 1966 the married father of three went missing in action. Authorities had presumed his aircraft had been shot down during a rescue mission. "He was trying to rescue a downed pilot," said Danielson. "All of a sudden my father was not there," she added.
What happened to Col. Boston? A war memorial was built in his honor at the Fremont County Airport--as a family wondered for years did he die in combat or survive? Perhaps prisoner of war? "You never really have closure. There's never that finalization," said Danielson.
Danielson was only 5 years old when her father went missing. She had always hoped for miracle. Although a mother's instincts new better. Edythe Boston had visions her son died, but was in a better place. "He came to me, kneeled down. He gave me a hug. He said I'm all right momma. I'm all right," said Edythe.
In her heart--Edythe knew, what took decades to confirm. Eventually a farmer in north Vietnam found human remains. "The remain was on file for some time, but they had to wait for DNA technology before they were able to test the bone," said Danielson.
Danielson says a knee cap--a single bone was a perfect match to Edythe's DNA. "I had my prayers answered," said Edythe.
The investigation showed Col. Boston was killed during that rescue mission. His family takes comfort now knowing he didn't suffer and they're grateful to finally give a proper burial for a war hero missing for 45-years.
"It really is a sense of peace to have this kind of closure for our family," said Danielson.
Boston's children are going to Hawaii to get their father's remains. A funeral is being planned at the Air Force Academy in July.