Sergeant Joseph A. Matejov joined the U.S. Air Force from New York and was a member of the 6994th Security Squadron. On 5 February 1973, he was a crew member aboard an EC-47Q (serial number 43-48636) call sign "Baron 52" on a night reconnaissance mission over Saravane Province, Laos. Baron 52 was the EC-47 was carrying eight crew members that was shot down over Laos during the predawn hours of 5 February 1973, a week after the Paris Peace Accords officially ended the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. The remains of four crewmen were recovered from the crash site, but those of the remaining four have never been found. Although the U.S. government considers them to have been killed in action and as late as 1996 listed them as "accounted for", family members and POW/MIA advocates believe the four survived the crash and were taken captive and possibly sent to the USSR. The intelligence gatherers and their equipment would have been highly valued by the Soviets who maintained a presence both in Laos and North Vietnam. The incident has been featured on several nationwide news programs and a 1991 episode of the U.S. television series Unsolved Mysteries.
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