WASHINGTON, DC – Sixty-five years after his plane was shot down during the Korean
War, Rhode Island native Irving Munroe will be honored at a special memorial service
with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, October 13 at
9:00 a.m., U.S. Senator Jack Reed announced. Members of Airman First Class Irving
Munroe’s family will travel from Rhode Island to our nation’s capital for the
Born in 1931 and raised in Newport, Munroe joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950 at the
age of 19, serving in the Korean War as a gunner assigned to the 343rd Bombardment
Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group.
On the morning of June 1st, 1951, Munroe departed Yokota Air Base in Japan aboard a
B-29A «Super Fortress» bomber plane as part of an 11-ship group with orders to
conduct a daylight bombing operation of two railroad bridges along a North Korean
supply route. During the mission, his aircraft was attacked and shot down by
Russian MiGs backing North Korean forces.
Out of thirteen crew members on the mission, three returned alive from captivity in
1953. North Korean authorities also later returned three bodies identified as crew
members. Seven men, including A1C Munroe, were deemed missing in action. His
remains were not recovered and a presumptive finding of death was issued on January
31, 1954 when evidence considered sufficient to establish the fact of death was
received by the Secretary of the Air Force.
Irving Munroe came from a family with a history of military service that spanned
generations. His father, Master Sergeant Earle Munroe, was serving with ground
forces in Korea at the time when A1C Munroe was shot down. Airman First Class
Munroe’s brother, Don, also served in the Air Force, and his other brothers Jack,
Earle, and Walter served in the U.S. Army. Munroe’s aunt served her country as an
«We are forever indebted to Airman First Class Irving Munroe, and on behalf of a
grateful nation, I thank him for his faithful and distinguished service. He is a
hero to us, and we also appreciate the service and sacrifice of the extended Munroe
family. Irving Munroe earned the right to be memorialized on the hallowed grounds
of Arlington National Cemetery, and his family deserves closure,» said Reed, the
Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee. «We will never give up trying to
find unaccounted-for service members and bring them home, or helping military
families get answers and bringing them some peace of mind.»
For his distinguished service, Irving Munroe was awarded the Air Medal, the Purple
Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National
Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of
Korea War Service Medal.
Today, 7,790 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, according to the
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPPA).
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for
Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website: