POW’s Remains Come Home After 62 Years


Cpl Robert Tait fulfilled a life long dream when he entered the military at the age of 17.

“He was so excited. He came home on one leave and he thought he was big chief war who, ya know,” said Iona Strout, Tait’s sister.

On February 15th, 1951, after a year in a Korean War POW Camp, Tait died.

For more than 62 years, his remains were never recovered – until now.

Strout said, “She called me, this lady from Kentucky, and she said we’ve got the remains of your brother and I said you’re crazy in hell! She says I know that but I’m telling you the truth.”

It was a life-changing phone call for Iona Strout, Tait’s older sister.

She said she never gave up hope that her brother would one day come home.

“After all these years no. I only wish it could have happened when mum was alive because everyday she said I hope I hear word today about him,” strout said.

Cpl Tait’s remains landed in Logan International Airport in Boston and traveled by police escort to their final resting place in Bar Harbor.

The Commander at Post 25 American Legion in Bar Habor, Alan Silverman, said “There’s something there. It’s not empty anymore. There’s not an empty feeling in your heart. He’s home.” He continued, “If they found Robert Tait, they might find dad or even mom and bring them home. So there’s always hope.”

Members of the American Legion Post 25 in the town say they can wait to welcome Tait back to the island.

Silverman said, “It’s a great feeling. And everyone will be talking about it for a long long time.”

Tait’s sister said the woman who called from the Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office is a federal employee.

Because of the government shutdown, she has been placed on furlough and will not be able to attend Tait’s funeral.

The Local American Legion Post says that’s more of a reason for people to come by.

On Saturday, there will be a graveside service, with full military honors, for Tait.

It starts at 11 am at the Ledgewood Cemetary in Bar Habor.

There will also be a celebration of Tait’s life after the service at the American Legion in town.

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