TAMPA (FOX 13) - U.S. Air Force Col. Peter J. Stewart was flying a F-4C over North Vietnam on March 15, 1966 when he was shot down by enemy fire. Until recently, he was missing in action.
A couple of months ago - the U.S. government identified his remains, which were found at the crash site.
After 52 years, he has now arrived home to his family for a dignified burial.
They met the plane on the tarmac at Tampa International Airport Saturday afternoon, and a motorcade escorted them back to their home in Polk County.
"This experience was huge, it was huge for my family, and after 52 years, my grandmother and her six kids have their dad home for Father's Day, so we're very excited to welcome him back," said Margaret Stewart, Col. Stewart's granddaughter. She added that the family is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.
There will be a service at Oak Ridge Funeral Home in Col. Stewart's honor on Sunday, and on Monday there will be a mass at St. Matthew's Catholic Church.