Family needed to identify unknown soldier’s remains

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 11, 2004

The search for a Pittsburgh man who disappeared during the Korean War started years ago at a crash site in North Korea. That search could end in Dallas County.

Raymond Bacon, senior airman with the Air Force, disappeared while serving in Korea, according to Therese Fisher, director of genealogy at the American History Company in Virginia. The Air Force typically identifies and returns fallen soldiers to their homes, but in difficult cases it hands the task over to Fisher. In especially hard cases Fisher gets permission to contact local media in hopes of finding relatives.

And that brought Fisher to The Selma Times-Journal.

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Fisher is hoping, though, that she’ll find a relative of Bacon in the Selma area. Fisher started the search for Bacon about two years ago. Her goal is to find a relative of Bacon’s so DNA tests can determine if the Air Force has located Bacon’s remains. The military uses DNA that passes through women as a method of identifying missing people.

The story of how a female relative of Bacon’s got to Dallas County is a convoluted one. Fisher said that she started looking for relatives in Pittsburgh by scouring city directories and court records. She eventually found the name Annie Bacon, who died in the 70s, in court documents. &uot;She was listed in court records as the next of kin,&uot; Fisher said. &uot;That’s who took care of the estate.&uot;

At first, Fisher believed Annie Bacon was Raymond’s aunt by marriage since she had the same last name. Further research revealed that Annie was instead sister to Raymond’s mother &045; Marie Jackson, who died in 1935. Annie raised Raymond and he took her name instead of his mother’s.

Fisher delved deeper and discovered Annie Bacon was born in Alabama, but had married several times in the Pittsburgh area. Fisher also found that Annie’s father, Gabriel Fortson, had lived in Dallas County.

Fortson married Violet Childers in Dallas County in 1886. &uot;We’re suspecting that this is where Annie was born,&uot; Fisher said. &uot;The family seems to have stayed in Dallas County, except for Annie and her sister going up to Pittsburgh.&uot;

Fisher now needs to contact a descendant of Violet Childers. &uot;The key is everybody having Violet Childers as the mother,&uot; she added. If a descendant is found, DNA tests can be done and Raymond Bacon can finally be laid to rest. Fisher encouraged anyone with information about Raymond Bacon to contact her at 1-800-813-1049.