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Col. Jay R. Jensen funeral is Saturday; Vietnam POW

SHARE Col. Jay R. Jensen funeral is Saturday; Vietnam POW

Funeral services for ret. Lt. Col. Jay R. Jensen, 66, a prisoner of war who was released in 1973 from Hanoi six years after being shot down over Vietnam, will be Saturday, June 6.

The highly decorated officer died Friday, May 29, 1998, of a heart attack while snorkeling with his wife in Hawaii. Services for Utah's first returning Vietnam War prisoner will be at 11 a.m. Saturday.Services will be held at Mountain View Memorial Estates, 3115 E. 7800 South. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and one hour before the services Saturday at the mortuary and cemetery. Burial will be at that location, where military honors will be conducted by a Hill Air Force Base honor guard.

A native of Sandy and a Jordan High School graduate, the officer was reported missing in action in Vietnam Feb. 18, 1967, during his 13th "Wild Weasel" combat mission. Thirty-four months later, his family was informed that he was a prisoner of war. He was released from Hanoi Feb. 18, 1973, exactly six years after his aircraft was shot down.

His military honors included two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Valor, two Purple Hearts, P.O.W. Medal and the Presidential Unit Citation. He retired from the military in 1978 after 28 years of service.

Col. Jensen was author of "Six Years in Hell: A Returned POW Views Captivity, Country and the Nation's Future," published in 1974.

He received bachelor's and master's degrees from Brigham Young University, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Force and earned navigator wings in 1958.

He was a high priest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had served as an elders quorum president and a stake high councilor. He was a resident of Port Richey, Fla., and Layton.