Captain Ferguson Comes Home


Photo courtesy City of Lakewood

For 44 years, Air Force Capt. Douglas D. Ferguson was presumed dead after the F-4D Phantom he was in was shot down over the Houphan Province in Laos. He was 24.

Today, the 1963 graduate of Tacoma’s Wilson High School is coming home after DNA identified his remains. He will arrive at Sea-Tac International Airport and a procession will follow to Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory in Lakewood from 2 to 3pm. A joint civilian/military fire service apparatus display and garrison will be honoring him on the north side of the 56th street/I-5 overpass.

On Friday, West Pierce and JBLM Fire Departments will honor Ferguson and his family with a joint civilian/military fire service apparatus display and garrison at the North Gate of McChord Field and the entrance to Mountain View in Lakewood. The procession to McChord Field is scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. The return procession back to Mountain View is scheduled between 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

The City of Lakewood, West Pierce Fire & Rescue and Joint Base Lewis-McChord ask that drivers take note of these procession times and to please show respect for Captain Ferguson, his family and friends as the procession passes.

He flew with the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron out of Thailand.

During the war, after carrying out three successful bombing missions over a heavily fortified region, his plane was shot down. The next day searchers spotted what appeared to be a pair of parachutes in the trees. They couldn’t do a ground search at the time because the area was being heavily defended. Ferguson and another airman were declared missing in action. Two months ago a DNA analysis positively identified his remains and now, four decades later, his friends and family can put him to rest at home.

is a contributor to South Sound magazine.
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