LIGON, VERN P. Jr.
Deceased
Name: Vern P. Ligon Jr.
Rank/Branch: United States Air Force/O5
Unit:
Date of Birth: 04 July 1921
Home City of Record: Frankfort KY
Date of Loss: 19 Nov 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 211000 North  1054000 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RF4C
Missions:
        Shot down in WWII in a P 47 on his 26th Mission 22 April 1944 - Held
        until April 1945 in Germany. Escaped once, recaptured.
Other Personnel in Incident:
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: 730314 Released  by DRV
 
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
spelling errors).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
VERN P. LIGON JR.
Colonel  - United  States Air Force
Shot Down: November 19, 1967
Released: March 14, 1973
                    
On 4 July 1921 I was born in Frankfort Kentucky and attended elementary
schools in Frankfort; Columbia, South Carolina; Southport, Indiana;
Louisville, Kentucky; graduating from  high school! in Greensboro, North
Carolina in 1939 I also attended the University of Louisville, Kentucky and
Evansville College, Evansville, Indiana on 20 October 1941, I married a very
lovely girl by the name of Dorothy Tuttle. We  have one son, William Alan
Ligon, born in 1955, who is now attending college at Florida Institute of
Technology in Melbourne.
My military career began in March 1942 when I joined the Army Air Corps and
graduated from flying school in May 1943. I was then assigned as a fighter
pilot in the 362nd Fighter Group, a P-47 organization. In November 1943, I
went overseas to England and flew some 35 missions when I met my fate of being
shot down over Brussels by ground fire. I was captured and interned as a
prisoner of war and held in several German prison camps. During the latter
stages of the war, I escaped for a short period of time and returned into
captivity at Mosseburg in Southern Germany, near Munich. On the 8th of May
1945 I was released and returned to the States.
Then began a series of assignments as a fighter  pilot at Seymour Johnson Air
Force Base  (AFB), Goldsboro, North Carolina. Later on I was assigned to the
Army on detail and went to a Master and Mates Boat School in Fort Eustis,
Virginia, after which I served as a skipper of an oceangoing tug and later as
a mate on an oceangoing ROTC ship. I was then assigned to the University of
Washington for a year and relieved of detail in 1947 when I returned to the
Air Force. I was stationed at Watson Laboratory, Red Bank, New Jersey, for two
years and then overseas to Clark AB in the Philippines, with my wife, for
another two years. After leaving Clark AB in 1952, I was stationed at Patrick
AFB, in the missile business, where I enjoyed four wonderful years. In 1956, I
was assigned to the Strategic Air Command  Dyess AFB,  as an instructor pilot
and later as Chief of Standardization Division for the Wing. From there, in
1961, I was assigned to Davis Monthan AFB where I continued my B47 job as
Chief of Standardization Division and later as a Squadron Commander of the
390th Bomb Squadron. In 1963,1 was assigned to the Air War College at Maxwell
AFB, graduating in 1964. Then, very fortunately, I was reassigned to Patrick
AFB to the National Range Division where I had a division called "Range
Control Operations" for three years.
Moving on, I was reassigned to Tactical Air Command (TAC), training RF-4C's
at Shaw AFB, departing for overseas in August 1967 for Udorn, Thailand, where
I was Commander of the 11 th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. After 26
missions I was shot down while flying over Hanoi on a reconnaissance mission.
Again a prisoner of war I spent the next five and a half years in the
Vietnamese prison system along with many other Americans. My experiences while
interned are typical of those of my fellow Americans. Unfortunately, they did
separate us by rank of Lieutenant Colonel and above and we were not as close
to some of the group as those of lower rank. l was released in March 1973. On
17 March 1973, we returned to the United States to Maxwell AFB where I met my
family for the first time in many years. After processing in Maxwell for about
ten days, I went on convalescent leave to my home in Melbourne Beach, Florida.
There is one thing that will always stand out very vividly in my memory and
that is the reception that approximately 3,000 wonderful, loyal friends and
Americans gave us returnees at Hickam AFB. It's just one of those things that
disturbs your emotions and you haven't any way of expressing them. It also
reaffirmed the feelings of the returnees that the greater part of the American
public is patriotic and do care about their families, country and servicemen.

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