Almost 60 Years Later, a Fallen Airman Finally Gets His Due

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Jill Ellman was only 8, but she remembers military officials heading up the driveway and knocking on her family’s door with the news that her father’s Air Force bomber had crashed off the coast of Newfoundland.

Jill Ellman is hugged by her husband, Richard, as she holds a flag given to her during a memorial service on Wednesday for her father, Air Force Capt. Paul Pascal, whose plane went down at sea in 1957. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times / Feb. 27, 2014)

The news had barely sunk in when the telephone rang with an update: Her father was safe. Her mother broke out a bottle of champagne. “Everyone was celebrating,” Ellman recalled.

But a few hours later the phone rang again, and the celebrating stopped. Only one crew member had been pulled from the ocean, and it wasn’t her dad.

Searchers discovered an empty life raft, but never found her father.

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