Vietnam vet searches for a way to bring Onset WWII soldier home
Vietnam veteran Charles Sooy is a firm believer that bringing military members home can provide closure for families, and he hopes to do that for the family of Harry B. Queen of Onset.
Sooy has been researching military members from Wareham since 2006, which started as a quest to “remind people what Memorial Day is all about.” He discovered that Queen, a sergeant in World War II, went missing in 1944 after his aircraft crashed with eight people on it. Sooy used old newspapers and his sources around town to get as much information as possible about the crash.
He learned the aircraft crashed in India in January 1944 and the crew was officially declared dead in 1946. The wreckage site was visited in 2006 and later by the United States authorities on at least three occasions. The site was excavated and the remains of some of the crew were recovered, but only the remains of one or two people on the crew have been identified. Queen was not one of those identified on board.
“With all the other people [from Wareham], you pretty much know what happened and where they were buried,” Sooy said. But that's not the case with Queen.
Sooy hopes further investigation will result in a DNA sample being matched to Queen so he can finally be brought home. He encourages anyone who knew Queen to contact the United States Department of Defense to ask if there are other bones found in the wreckage that can be identified.
Sooy hopes Queen can be brought home and given military honors.
"It would make Wareham proud," he said.
As recently as this year, family members of those identified on the crew have been contacted by the government and told their relative was identified using matching DNA samples, dental records and anthropological analysis. One of those on the crew, Robert Eugene Oxford, was buried in June in his hometown in Georgia.
According to Sooy's research, Queen's father, Samuel Queen, used to own the Center Cafe in Onset and the Squirrel's Nest Diner in East Wareham.
Sooy hopes those who knew Queen will be able to identify him in the photo of the crew and will at least have the information about his plane crash.
“It gives closure to the life,” Sooy said.
Contact Sooy with information at firstname.lastname@example.org.