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?