Pilot's proper burial on the way
Ex-Lakewood resident died in Vietnam during sortie
Dustin Racioppi, Asbury Park Press.com June 15,2012
He came from Estonia to Lakewood as a young boy with his parents, sister and brother, and pursued what was then known as the American Dream: Voted best-looking by the Lakewood High School class of 1960, was headed for the University of Miami to major in business administration and had a “cool Ford convertible.”
But his goal of becoming a businessman shifted toward dreams more patriotic, and on a summer night in 1966, the day before his 25th birthday, Aado Kommendant’s plane was shot down over the dense jungle of South Vietnam, on his 17th flying mission as a U.S. Air Force pilot. Searchers were unable to find Kommendant, then a lieutenant, and the commanding pilot of the F4C Phantom jet, Capt. Charles W. Walling. The battery was declared missing in action for the next 12 years; in 1979 they were declared killed in action.
But a proper burial for Aado Kommendant is finally on its way.
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