Nearly 50 years have passed since Marine Corps 1st Lt. William Ryan's plane was shot down near Laos during the Vietnam War. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has identified the remains of Ryan, who served as a radio intercept officer in an F-4B aircraft.

It was the day before his son Michael's first birthday when Ryan was shot down while flying a combat mission on May 11, 1969, according to the Tribunist. Ryan and another pilot were on a bombing run when they were hit by enemy fire.

Ryan will be interned at Arlington National Cemetery on May 10, the Tribunist reported.

"I always knew my dad died in the crash, and that's what my mom told me," Michael Ryan, now 48, told the website. "What she didn't tell me is that part of her held out hope that maybe she'd see his face again."

From 1990 to 2012, teams from the United States, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Vietnamese Office for Research and Investigative Teams gathered information and interviewed witnesses trying to determine where Ryan may have died.

From May 2012 to January 2016, the teams conducted six excavations of a crash site, where they recovered aircraft wreckage, life support items and possible human remains. The remains were identified last month using laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence.