Lost Rochester airman will finally receive burial
Posted at: 07/03/2012 9:36 PM
| Updated at: 07/04/2012 4:51 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
Forty seven years after he went missing in action a Rochester airman’s family finally has some closure.
At 43-years-old while serving in the Air Force, Joseph Christiano’s plane was gunned down. He and his crew were never found that is until just a few months ago when another search of the crash site turned up remains. Now the group will get a full military burial.
Christiano grew up in the city of Rochester. His family says they never thought it would take this long for the remains to be found, but they are so thankful they have been found.
Barbara Annechino said, “It’s obviously bitter sweet. We are happy. Forty seven years seems like such a long time.”
Barbara Annechino was 21-years-old when her father went missing in action while serving in the Vietnam War. The family heard that news on Christmas Eve in 1965, and a short time later, found out his plane was shot down in Laos. Col. Joseph Christiano and the five others in their crew were never seen again.
They waited for 47 years and it wasn’t until a few months ago, they heard the military had located the crash site and were planning on searching the area.
Annechino said, “On April 5, I received a call that they indeed found remains as well as artifacts.”
The military was able to determine the remains of the crew. For Annechino, she can finally lay her father to rest.
Annechino said, “I don't know if it was shock. It was more a peace that had settled over us that they finally found something. It brings us closure knowing that they had been searching all this time and we believe this is the crew and that we have closure.”
Annechino says the Fourth of July has always had a special meaning to her, but this year, it means even more.
Annechino said, “I couldn’t be prouder. I really couldn’t. He did what he believed he had to do and here we are celebrating another Independence Day, thanks to him and all the others who have served and died for this country.”
The crew of six will have a burial with full military honors at Arlington. The funeral will be Monday. This weekend, the families of all the crew members will meet and talk with every other for the first time.