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Governor Dayton orders flags flown at half-staff in honor of Lieutenant William E. Swanson

June 11, 2012
St. Paul – In honor and remembrance of Navy Lieutenant William E. Swanson, Governor Mark Dayton has ordered all U.S. flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the State of Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. 

Minnesota native Lieutenant Swanson was killed in action on April 11, 1965, while serving the United States Navy in the Vietnam War. He began service with the United States Navy on September 24, 1960, and soon therefore after was deployed to Vietnam, serving aboard the U.S.S. Ranger. He died on April 11, 1965, when the A-1H Skyraider aircraft he was piloting was shot down while on armed reconnaissance mission of enemy targets on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the mountains north of Boualapha, Khammouan Province, Laos. Enemy activity in the area precluded the recovery of his remains. Lieutenant Swanson’s remains were recovered in July, 2010 and identified. He was honored with a burial with full military honors today, Monday, June 11, 2012, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

At the direction of the Governor, Minnesota flies it’s flags at half-staff following the death of Minnesota military personnel killed in the line of duty. Governor Dayton has chosen to extend this same honor to all of Minnesota’s fallen soldiers, including those who are returned to their families long after their service.