seal  Purdue News

September 16, 2003

ROTC honor society remembers POWs with vigil

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Iven C. Kincheloe Jr. squadron of the Arnold Air Society at Purdue University will conduct a ceremony and remembrance vigil in memory of military personnel who are prisoners of war or listed as missing in action.

An opening ceremony will begin at noon Thursday (9/18,) near the flagpole at Purdue's Memorial Mall. More than 30 former POWs will be in attendance, and other activities, such as readings, will take place.

From that time until noon on Friday (9/19), a Purdue ROTC Air Force guard will stand vigil for one-hour shifts near a "prisoner" in a cage on the Memorial Mall. A candlelight vigil also will take place on the mall at 8 p.m. Thursday (9/18).

Robbie Mullinax, the public affairs officer for the Arnold Air Society, says he hopes many people will show up for the ceremony and vigil.

"So many veterans have made such great sacrifices for our nation," Mullinax says. "Their stories of heroism are inspiring. They should never be forgotten."

The Arnold Air Society, a national organization of more than 2,500 Air Force ROTC cadets, has sponsored the ceremony and vigil for more than 20 years.

Kincheloe was a decorated Air Force fighter pilot who graduated from Purdue in 1949 with degrees in aeronautical and mechanical engineering. He flew 131 missions in the Korean War, during which he downed 11 MiGs and damaged 11 others. Kincheloe died in a plane crash in 1958 after the engine failed in his F-104.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Robbie Mullinax, (812) 583-0528,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: The media can cover the opening ceremony and vigil. Interviews with POWs can be arranged by contacting Robbie Mullinax at (812) 583-0528,

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