Coming Home

Photo by Steve Mantilla, UT Martin University Relations

Family, friends and community members gather March 2 at Discovery Park of America in Union City to pay tribute to Lt. Richard C. “Tito” Lannom (‘65), a United States Navy officer and UT Martin graduate, who was declared Missing in Action on March 1, 1968. Lannom was assigned to Attack Squadron Three Five USS Enterprise when his A-6A aircraft went missing during a night mission over North Vietnam. Lannom and the pilot were declared missing after a search-and-rescue mission failed to locate the plane. A Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) team excavated a crash site in late 2017. Lannom was identified on Sept. 25, 2018, through the use of DNA as well as evidence found at the site. His wife, now Charlotte Shaw, a retired educator living in Florida, chose to have his remains buried in Union City, “the hometown he loved.” During the service, the museum unveiled an updated Vietnam War Memorial reflecting Lannom’s change in status from Missing in Action to Killed in Action in the Military Garden – 51 years and one day from the time he was declared missing.

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