An event Thursday evening at the Salina VFW will help raise funds for a Prisoner of War Monument at the Saline County War Memorial.
Dale Pugh will speak at the event. He will tell the story of his brother Dennis, a pilot from Salina who was shot down during the Vietnam War and is still listed as Missing in Action.
Dennis was flying on a mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos on March 19th, 1970, when his aircraft was shot down. He and his pilot ejected safely and contact was made with both crew members on the ground. Search efforts were terminated due to darkness and intense enemy activity in the area.
When rescue efforts resumed at first light, Dennis reported being surrounded by enemy. Numerous rescue attempts were repulsed by enemy fire. Eventually, radio contact with Pugh was lost. The pilot of the aircraft was rescued, but Pugh could not be located. There has been no further word of Dennis Pugh.
All proceeds from the event, which features a spaghetti dinner, go to building a monument in memory of Dennis and other local POWs. The event begins at 6:00 at the VFW at 1108 W. Crawford in Salina.