BOYD, CHARLES GRAHAM
Name: Charles Graham Boyd
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force, pilot
Unit: Korat Airbase, Thailand 421st TFS
Date of Birth: 15 April 1938
Home City of Record: Rockwell City IA
Date of Loss: 22 April 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 212500N 1052000E (WJ339662)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated
by the P.O.W. NETWORK April 2020.
REMARKS: 730212 RELSD BY DRV
SYNOPSIS: The F105 Thunderchief ("Thud") performed yoeman service on many
diversified missions in Southeast Asia. F105s flew more combat missions over
North Vietnam than any other USAF aircraft and consequently suffered the
heaviest losses in action. They dropped bombs by day and occasionally by
night from high or low altitude. Some later versions attacked SAM sites with
their radar tracking air-to-ground missiles. This versatile aircraft was
credited with downing 25 Russian MiGs.
Capt. Charles G. Boyd was a pilot trained on the F105D who was shipped to
Vietnam in November 1965. On his 105th combat mission, he departed Korat
Airbase on April 22, 1966 on a combat mission near Hanoi.
During the mission, while over Vinh Phu Province and about 5 miles northeast
of the city of Phu Tho, Boyd's aircraft was hit by enemy fire and he was
forced to eject. Boyd was captured by the Vietnamese and taken to Hanoi.
For the next seven years, Boyd was a "guest" of the North Vietnamese. Like
other Americans captured during this period, he was frequently held in
isolation and frequently "interrogated" in sessions that were more often
On February 12, 1973, Boyd was released in Operation Homecoming, which
resulted in the release of 591 Americans from Hanoi. At the time, military
officials were dismayed that "hundreds" of known or suspected POWs were not
Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned
American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return
unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the
honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly
held. It's time we brought our men home.
Charles G. Boyd was promoted to the rank of Major during his captivity.
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
CHARLES G. BOYD
Major - United States Air Force
Shot Down: April 22, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973
Major Charles Graham Boyd was born on April 15,1938 on a farm near Rockwell
City, Iowa. He was the second child of H. Graham and Vernal Staton Boyd. He
attended the Rockwell City Public Schools and Baylor University.
In April of 1959, Major Boyd entered the United States Air Force and was
graduated from Pilot training in July 1960 at Greenville Air Force Base,
Mississippi. Advanced gunnery training in F-100's followed at Luke Air Force
Base, Arizona and Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
Tours of duty in the Philippines; George Air Force Base, California;
McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas; Incirlik Air Base, Turkey and Kadena Air
Base, Okinawa, preceeded Major Boyd's assignment to Southeast Asia in
November 1965. He was shot down on his 105th combat mission April 22, 1966,
near Hanoi, North Vietnam, and was held captive for 2,488 days.
A professional Air Force officer, Major Boyd plans to remain in the Air
Force and further his education under the Air Force Institute of Technology
"If there is one message I would like to express to those who are interested
in the American POWs and their life in the prisons of Vietnam, it would be a
thumbnail sketch of the essence of the fighter pilot (for that's what most
of us were.)
"First of all-and let me make this clear-we were not heroes but, rather, we
were just ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances. This being true, I
would now contradict myself slightly and explain what I regard to be a
somewhat extraordinary characteristic of most fighter pilots. The fighter
pilots that I have known are, by and large, a fiercely individualistic breed
of men. Whether this characteristic directs them toward a career flying
fighter aircraft, or if it is merely something they develop through
association in a society of professional fighter pilots, I do not know. But
this I do know-there is not a fighter pilot worth his salt who would not
prefer to fly alone in a single-seat aircraft, relying totally on his
singular skills, than to work as a part of a committee on any multi-seated
"And so it should not seem surprising that this breed of men would be as
well equipped as anyone to cope with the special problems of isolation. The
enemy captors thought they could 'divide and conquer;' that without
collective leadership we would not be able to maintain our resistance and
our resolve. But they did not reckon with the individual integrity of the
American fighter pilot.
"Our stories have now been told, and further elaboration on our intricate
communication systems, our 'through the walls' education programs, and our
gigantic mental projects, would only be redundant. But if a testimony is to
be made to this group of men, it should be a testimony to the individual
spirit. We returned with our mental health through no thanks to our captors,
but because the highest degree of achievement is possible only when man is
imbued with a spirit of individualism.
"In this world of changing values where the individual dignity of man seems
to be eroding in the society, I think you would do well to remember the
example set by men who refused to compromise their individuality."
Charles Boyd retired from the United States Air Force as a General. He
resides in Virginia.
Full text of their remarks are available
on the Center's webpage
(Boyd<http://cftni.org/Boyd%20Speech.html> and McKeon <http://cftni.org/McKeon%20Speech.html>).
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