Man Arrested In Florida After Going AWOL 45 Years Ago

Wikimedia Commons photo

The Marion County Sheriff's Office in Florida and the U.S. Air Force have provided more details on the accused military deserter who was apprehended on Tuesday.

Deputies and several U.S. Air Force special agents, according to a Sheriff's Office report, met at the intersection of West State Road 40 and Southwest 80th Avenue. There, agents told deputies they had an arrest warrant for Linley Benson Lemburg for leaving the U.S. Air Force in 1972. Military agents also told the deputies that Lemburg lived nearby and that he goes by the name William Michael Robertson.

Lemburg was detained without incident after they saw him on his morning walk roughly two blocks from his home.

In custody, Lemburg asked his wife to give deputies his driver's license, which had the name William Michael Robertson. The agent placed Lemburg in a vehicle that transported him to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, where he was fingerprinted. His fingerprints matched prints he gave the military decades ago, according to the report.

Once a judge reviewed a search warrant, Lemburg's home was searched. After the search, Lemburg was transported to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

On Wednesday, MacDill officials issued the following statement:

"The MacDill AFB Office of Special Operations apprehended Linley Benson Lemburg (alias: William Michael Robertson) on March 21, on charges of desertion, which is a crime that falls under the UCMJ Article 86, Absence without leave. As the closest military installation to where Lemburg was found, MacDill AFB authorities are investigating the allegations associated with Mr. Lemburg's case, which is still under investigation. At this time, he is being held by MacDill officials on base until the pending trial (AKA Courts Martial) no more investigative information can be released.

Also on Wednesday, U.S. Air Force spokesman Wayne Amann provided details on Lemburg's military service.

Lemburg, he noted in an email, served as an "Air Force Office of Special investigations Special Agent from 1968 until his desertion" on Feb. 14, 1972. Amann said he was serving in Philadelphia.

"This case," Amann wrote, "originated from the Investigations Collections and Operations Nexus Cold Case unit."

Lemburg is being held at MacDill pending court martial, Amann said.

Neighbors who live near Lemburg in the quiet community had nothing but praise for Lemburg. They described as a quiet and helpful, noting he would do anything for anyone. One neighbor said Lemburg would clean the gutters for those who could not do it themselves and would not charge them. Another said he would display flags at different seasons in front of his residence. Others said Lemburg worked at Home Depot for a time.

Some said they feel he should be released.

A woman who answered the door to Lemburg's home Wednesday declined to comment.


©2017 the Ocala Star-Banner (Ocala, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor July 18, 2016, for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. Then-Maj. Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tammy Nooner)

by Martin Slagter, The Ann Arbor News, Mich.

YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.

His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.

But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.

Nearly 50 years later, Kettles received the Medal of Honor on July 18, 2016.

Read More Show Less
The M160 Robotic Mine Flail at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Photo: Maj. Dan Marchik/U.S. Army

The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.

Read More Show Less
A Chinese tank rolls at the training ground "Tsugol", about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 (Associated Press/Sergei Grits)

China is developing a lot of new and advanced weaponry, but a recent state media report suggests the Chinese military may not be entirely sure what to do with these new combat systems.

Read More Show Less
(The 621st Contingency Response Wing/Flickr)

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.

"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."

Read More Show Less