On this Memorial Day, I honor my brother-in-law, PFC Claude Leon Baird. Leon, the brother of my wife, Margaret Baird Petree, grew up in Duff, TN. He went missing on Oct. 1, 1958 while serving during the 2nd Taiwan Crisis with the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) on Taiwan. He was enroute from the island of Matsu to Taiwan but the plane never reached its destination. Reports that the plane was seen in Shanghai, China but the US Army has never confirmed these reports.
-Posted by Harry Vann Petree.
The “Blue Swan” or “Blue Goose,” a PBY-5A seaplane missing as of the same day (Oct. 1, 1958) and en route to Taipei from the island of Matsu, but whose wreckage was just finally found in June 2014, might be the missing plane that Baird was aboard?
“A TAIWAN passenger plane, which went missing more than half a century ago, has been confirmed crashed following the recovery of its propeller recently, major Chinese dailies reported.
“The PBY-5A amphibious plane –also known as the ‘Blue Swan’ – belonged to TransAsia Airways.”
Carrying seven army officers and four crew members, the cross-strait flight from Matsu Island in the Taiwan Straits to Taiwan Island went missing on Oct 1, 1958. It departed from Matsu airport at 5.45pm.
“Altitude 1,000-feet, 80-mile from Taipei’, was the last message it sent to the control tower before the plane disappeared from the radar. A search team comprising the navy and air force units from the United States and Taiwan had failed to locate the plane.
“The disappearance of the flight remained mysterious until several months ago when a fishing boat trawled up its propeller.”
- Rank: Private First Class
- Date of birth: 11 March 1937
- Date of death: 1 October 1958
- County: Campbell
- Hometown: Duff
- Service Branch: Air Force
- Division/Assignment: Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG)
- Theater: Pacific
- Location In Memorial: Pillar I, Panel
- Sponsored by: Courtney Petree
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