Moments Like These Are Why We Do What We Do: Missing Tacoma airman returns home after nearly 45 years –


SeaTac, Wash. — It was a homecoming at SeaTac Airport fit for a hero, and one his family feared would never happen. In 1969, U.S. Air force pilot, Captain Douglas Ferguson, was considered missing in action. The military and his sister never stopped looking for him. 

Like any trip to the airport, waiting is just part of the experience. However, flight that brings Sue Scott to SeaTac Airport, is one that is long overdue.  

“On one hand you’re excited that he’s coming home,” said Scott. “In some ways I smile because there is a sense of peace, and right now there is some grief as well.” 

Sue hasn’t been waiting minutes, hours or even days. 

“I thought I would see him again at first for a long time, when I thought how could this have happened,” said Scott. 

Scott’s brother, U.S. Air force pilot captain Douglas Ferguson left his Tacoma home to fight in the Vietnam War but never returned after his plane was shot down over laos in 1969.  

After nearly 45 years, the wait is over.  Captain Douglas Ferguson is finally home. He received a hero’s welcome with the presence of the Honor Guard, a water cannon salute from the Port of Seattle Fire Department, and a flag presentation. 

“It was more than I could have imagined,” said Scott. “It was just beautiful and i think it honored him in such a noble way.”

Not everyone at the ceremony got to meet Douglas Ferguson, but Sue Scott’s mission has been that no one forgets him. 

“At that time I said to myself I cannot live my life, raising my young sons without looking for my brother,” said Scott. “That’s when I made the commitment to bring him home one way or another.”

Ferguson’s remains were recovered at the crash site in Laos. The U.S military Central Identification Lab in Hawaii helped identify his remains. Ferguson will be laid to rest at Mountain View Memorial Park in Lakewood, near his parents.

His sister says he received a silver star for extracting two pilots under enemy fire. 

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