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New England News

POW/MIA Chair Of Honor Will Tour Berkshires

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A “Chair of Honor” tour will begin at Lenox Town Hall 11 o’clock Friday morning to honor American POWs and those missing in action. The tour will involve more than 20 towns in Berkshire and Hampden counties.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Coakley was piloting a plane over Vietnam in 1966 when his plane was shot down. He was considered missing until 1989 when his remains were found and buried in Lenox.

“Even though our soldiers are not here, they’ll always have a seat when they do get home,” State Representative Smitty Pignatelli said. “That’s what this honor chair is really all about.”

Coakley’s great nephew, Lance Cpl. Roger Muchnick Jr., is buried next to him. The 23 year-old Muchnick was one of seven U.S. Marines killed in March 2013 when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube during an exercise in Nevada.

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