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September 18, 2006

Another Cold Warrior recognized...

Air Force sergeant receives posthumous honor for secret mission Associated Press McCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. - Air Force Tech. Sgt. Roscoe C. Lindsay died in 1959 carrying the secret of a mission he flew over the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Now, the Air Force has recognized his service with the Distinguished Flying Cross, its eighth highest honor. Lindsay's widow, Loy Lindsay of Coffeyville, accepted the medal Friday in a ceremony at McConnell Air Force Base.

"He certainly deserved it, and I'm so happy for him," she said. "I wish he could be here."

Roscoe Lindsay died of a heart attack at age 38.

Seven years earlier, in September 1952, he was one of 12 crew members on a flight to determine if the Soviets were building a base that would pose a nuclear threat to the east coast of the United States.

The mission was so secret that they were instructed not to use their radios for the entire 15-hour flight. Crew members were also told that if they were shot down or captured, there would be no rescue attempt.

The crew successfully completed its mission, on which Lindsay served as an aerial photographer.

Because of the flight's classified nature, it was largely unknown for decades. In 2000, the government declassified details of the mission, and crew members began sharing their story.

Soon after, Lindsay's grandson, Patrick Logan, read that the lead pilot on the mission, Lt. Col. Roy Kaden, was trying to track down other crew members or their families. He wanted the crew to receive military honors.

Kaden, who lives in Arkansas, contacted Logan, who lives in Missouri, and told him: "I've been looking for your family for 40 years." Kaden lobbied to secure the Distinguished Flying Cross for Lindsay.

Col. T. Harrison Smith, vice commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell, presented the medal Friday to Loy Lindsay.

"I'm just in awe of all of it," she said of the ceremony. "I'm just speechless."