BLACKWOOD, GORDON BYRON Remains Returned - ID Announced 20 November 1989 Name: Gordon Byron Blackwood Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 18 July 1938 Home City of Record: Palo Verde CA Date of Loss: 27 May 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 211600N 1061100E (XJ245538) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Refno: 0711 Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of Task Force Omega from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews 01 January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: DEAD/IR 1516-0406-71 SYNOPSIS: The F105 Thunderchief ("Thud"), in its various versions, flew more missions against North Vietnam than any other U.S. aircraft. It also suffered more losses, partially due to its vulnerability, which was constantly under revision. Between 1965 and 1971, the aircraft was equipped with armor plate, a secondary flight control system, an improved pilot ejection seat, a more precise navigation system, better blind bombing capability and ECM pods for the wings. The D version was a single-place aircraft. Eighty-six F-105Ds fitted with radar homing and warning gear formed the backbone of the Wild Weasel program, initiated in 1965 to improve the Air Force's electronic warfare capability. Upon pinpointing the radar at a missile site, the Wild Weasel attacked with Shrike missiles that homed on radar emissions. The versatile aircraft was also credited with downing 25 Russian MiGs. Thirteen of these modified F's were sent to Southeast Asia in 1966. Capt. Gordon B. Blackwood was the pilot of an F105D assigned a mission over North Vietnam on May 27, 1967. During the mission, near the city of Bac Giang in Ha Bac Province, North Vietnam, Blackwood's aircraft was shot down and he was classified Missing in Action. Intelligence sources later reported that Capt. Blackwood was dead, but U.S. Air Force public information does not reveal details of this report. Capt. Blackwood's name and case information have been given to the Vietnamese as one of several score "discrepancy cases" on which the Vietnamese should have knowledge, but no information has been forthcoming. Finally, on November 20, 1989, the U.S. Government announced that remains returned by the Vietnamese had been positively identified as being those of Capt. Gordon B. Blackwood. For his family, the long wait was over. Still, reports continue to mount and many authorities are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still alive in captivity, Blackwood's family now knows that he is dead. They may never for sure know how - or when - he died. Are we doing enough to bring those men who are still alive home?