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Capt Lance P Sijan Memorial Plaza

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The Captain Lance P. Sijan Memorial Plaza will be formally dedicated on Friday, May 26th, at 10:45 a.m. at 5500 South Howell Avenue, Milwaukee WI ~ just south of the main entrance to  General Mitchell International Airport.

This green space plaza will introduce visitors to a true Milwaukee hero, Air Force Medal of Honor recipient, Captain Lance P. Sijan.  The Plaza will be a new Milwaukee landmark and serve as an emblem of civic pride. Visitors are encouraged to connect to the spirit that lives inside each one of us that does not know how to quit. Dedicated to all who have served – their families, their communities and their country. 

Lance P. Sijan was a hometown boy who demonstrated leadership capabilities at a young age.  He graduated from Bay View High School, attended the US Air Force Academy, and became an F4-C Phantom Jet pilot in the Vietnam War.  November 9, 1967 while on his 52nd mission out of the Da Nang AFB, a faulty fuse on the ordnance the aircraft was carrying prematurely detonated. Lance was able to parachute out of the burning aircraft into the triple canopy jungle below. A rescue team that included 108 aircraft assembled the next day after making radio contact with Lance. While preparing to send a man down to retrieve the downed pilot, Lance called on the radio….”Negative. I am surrounded by bad guys. I’ll crawl to you.” Ground fire got too intense, and the rescue team had to evacuate, promising Lance to return the next day. They were unable to locate him again. Badly injured and without food or water, Lance evaded capture for 6 weeks.  On Christmas Day he was found unconscious on a roadside where the North Vietnamese picked him up. Despite his emaciated condition, he was able to overpower a guard and escape back out into the jungle. Captured several hours later, he was bound and loaded on to a flatbed truck where he began the arduous journey to the infamous Hanoi Hilton, or Hao Lo Prison in North Vietnam. Lance never complained of his injuries with other cellmates and lived by the Military Code of Conduct, never divulging any information other than name, rank, serial number and date of birth.  He succumbed to his injuries and died on January 22, 1968. Lance was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 1976.   More information can be found at  

The Captain Lance P. Sijan Memorial Plaza includes an F-4 Phantom jet from Captain Sijan's 366 th squadron in Vietnam, memorial plaques, marble benches, reflecting gardens and a Medal of Honor star that serves as the foundation of the Plaza.

In partnership with WTMJ Cares, Team Sijan is seeking donations of $30,000 for completion of the Plaza.

We are thankful our wonderful friends at Arts Wisconsin and Anne Katz for their continued support as our Non-Profit partner.


  • Jen Sadowski
    • $25 
    • 7 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Patty Pritchard Thompson
Milwaukee, WI
Anne Katz

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