Susan "Sue" Owen '94 January 8, 2024 3:50 PM updated: January 24, 2024 10:51 AM
The remains of Capt. Ronald W. Forrester ’69, killed during the Vietnam War, were announced as accounted for in December 2023, and his family including daughter Karoni Forrester ’96 of Austin are planning honors for him.
There will be a public celebration of life for him in Lakeway, west of Austin, at 2 p.m. Feb. 3, held at Lake Travis United Methodist Church, 1502 RM 620 N.
Karoni Forrester told Austin’s KVUE-TV that the family plans to inter her father’s remains at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.
Her father, who studied civil engineering at Texas A&M before being commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps, was lost Dec. 27, 1972, when he was flying as navigator of an A-6A Intruder.
The plane was lost “during a nighttime combat mission over the northern part of the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam,” according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).
“After entering the target area, Forrester’s aircraft ceased radio communications and never returned to base. Search and rescue teams could not locate any trace of the aircraft or the crew in the Le Thuy District, Quang Binh Province.”
Forrester was initially declared missing in action; the DPAA said his status was changed to killed in action in September 1978.
Karoni Forrester told KOSA-TV news in Odessa, Texas (where her father grew up), that the family did not know for years whether he had been killed or perhaps taken as a prisoner of war, and that the identification “calms a lot of fears.”
“Anything that has happened since we lost him, we now know that he’s been in the arms of the Lord, and we don’t have to be fearful any longer that he was held prisoner or any of those things,” she said.
Related: Lists of Aggies honored at Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (see also: tx.ag/VietnamMIAAggies), the Normandy American Cemetery in France, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and both American military cemeteries in Italy; and Aggies who died due to service in World War I.