SLADE, LAWRENCE RANDOLPH
Name: Lawrence Randolph Slade Rank/Branch: Lieutenant/US Navy Unit: VF 103, USS SARATOGA Age: 26 Home City of Record: Norfolk VA Date of Loss: 21 January 1991 Country of Loss: Loss Coordinates: Status: Prisoner of War Status 2002: Released 03/04/91 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F14
Other Personnel in Incident: Lt. Devon Jones (rescued)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 09 March 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, published sources, interviews. Updated by the POW NETWORK 2002.
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: In the early days of hostilities in the Middle East, about one dozen American pilots were shot down and declared missing. The Pentagon, reluctant to release more information than was necessary, released only name, rank, branch of service and age of each missing man. In some cases, family members, friends and media sources reported more.
On January 20, 1991, a video interview of Allied POWs was broadcast on Iraqi television. First the audio portion, then the video, were shown in the U.S. by Cable News Network (CNN). Seven Allied POWs (including three Americans) had been paraded through Bagdhad in a propaganda move and coerced into making "peace" statements. All appeared to be speaking under extreme duress.
Again on January 25, more Allied POWs appeared, including Lt. Lawrence R. Blake. A check of Navy records indicated that media sources had mistakenly reported "Blake" instead of "Slade" because of the similar sound of the names and the difficulty in hearing the statements of the POWs.
Lt. Lawrence R. Slade was assigned to Fighter Squadron 103 onboard the USS SARATOGA when it was deployed to the Middle East. He flew as Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) in the early combat missions against targets in Kuwait and Iraq, and was shot down on a night mission on January 21, 1991. No further information was released by the Pentagon.
The U.S. Navy subsequently released information that the pilot of the aircraft, Lt. Devon Jones, ejected from the aircraft over the desert and was rescued.
On January 25, Iraqi television broadcast interviews with three allied POWs, including Slade. He stated that his mission was protecting allied forces on bombing runs. He was not certain what had hit his F14 Tomcat fighter/bomber.
On March 3, 1991, Lawrence Slade was released from captivity with a group of six American prisoners of war. Details of their treatment throughout captivity are not yet available because there are still Americans held, but they report they were well-treated in the final weeks.