Mortuary chief: Glenn's remains were given 'impeccable care'

Mortuary chief: Glenn's remains were given 'impeccable care'

Blake Casey
May 28, 2017

A May 11 memo from Deborah Skillman, Defense Department director of casualty and mortuary affairs, called the actions of the employee at Dover Air Force Base in DE "clearly inappropriate and personally shocking".

The Military Times reports that William Zwicharowski, the mortuary's chief, made the offer to the inspectors twice, on February 28 and on March 2.

In that case, a war widow claimed she had been unfairly denied a new job by the Army as retaliation for revealing to The Post and a member of Congress that the Dover mortuary had secretly dumped some of her husband's incinerated remains in a landfill.

She was so concerned she asked his deputy commander to address the matter with Zwicharowski, Skillman wrote in the memo.

Glenn, the all-American astronaut and senator who rocketed into history on flights 36 years apart as the first American to orbit the Earth and the oldest person in space, died in December at age 95.

John Glenn first tasted flight when he joined the Marines in 1943, aged 22.

8, 2016 and his body was sent to the Air Force base to await burial at Arlington National Cemetery. "It violates all standards of decency".

As Air Force officials investigate allegations that inspectors were invited to view the remains of astronaut and former U.S. Sen. "If allegations of misconduct are substantiated, those involved will be held accountable".

In 2011, the Dover mortuary was at the center of a scandal over how it handled remains of deceased service members.

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Air Force officials denied they were retaliating against Zwicharowski but declined to comment in detail about the investigation, citing privacy concerns.

However, the military mortuary chief says Glenn's remains were treated with "impeccable care".

"The family was contacted by the office of the secretary of the Air Force yesterday, who assured them that they were doing an investigation and they would take full responsibility for the investigation", said Butland.

It's unclear what that new policy entails, though Ryder said the mortuary passed its inspection with a score of 94 percent.

But when they reported the alleged offer, Air Force brass was outraged.

Zwicharowski acknowledged asking inspectors if they wanted to view Glenn's body but said it was a purely professional query. 'After all, that was what we were being inspected for'.

Military Times made multiple attempts to contact Zwicharowski.

Zwicharowski and other personnel at Dover questioned the legitimacy of the Pentagon inspection team.