Bridge dedication honors Vietnam MIA

By The Mercury

State and local officials were to take part Friday afternoon in dedication ceremonies at a new bridge over the Blue River named for a Blue Rapids native who was lost in Vietnam.

The ceremonies were to take place at the U.S. Highway 77 bridge at Blue Rapids, highlighted by the unveiling of signs naming the bridge after 1st Lt. Michael Hugh Breeding. A Blue Rapids native and graduate of the University of Kansas, his plane was lost over Vietnam in February of 1970.

The bridge is expected to open next week following the completion of shoulder work, striping of the lanes, installing a guard fence and installation of signs.

It will replace a bridge built in 1950, and that bridge will be removed.

Lt. Breeding is presumed to have died Feb. 12, 1970, when his F-4B, assigned to a Marine fighter squadron based at Chu Lai, failed to return from a mission near Quang Tri.

Authorities said Breeding’s aircraft was attempting to position itself for an attack run when contact with it was lost.

It has never been fully determined what brought the plane down. Neither the remains of Breeding nor his radar intercept officer, Lt. Robert Bradshaw, were ever found.

Among those scheduled to speak at the dedication Friday afternoon were Kansas Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Jerry Younger; Blue Rapids Mayor John Nowak; Marshall County Commissioner Tom Holle; State Rep. Sharon Schwartz, and Patrick Breeding, Michael Breeding’s brother.

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