Name: Ward Kent Dodge
Branch/Rank: United States Air Force/O4
Date of Birth: 14 March 1929
Home City of Record: DIGHTON KS
Date of Loss: 05-July -67
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 212300 North  1062200 East
Status (in 1973): Presumptive Finding of Death
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105G
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 and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File. Updated with information in 2002 from Jim Escalle.
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 14:48:42 EDT
Subject: Re: F-105 pilot Ward Kent Dodge, POW
Just for information purposes here is a little more on Maj. Dodge:
He was flying an F-105D, s/n 61-0042 when he was shot down. He belonged to
the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing based at
Takhli, Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB) in Thailand. An account on his
last flight: "As one formation of Thuds was hitting the Cao Nung Bridge,
another group was bombing the railway yard at Vu Chua a few miles to the
southeast. Just as Maj. Dodge was about to roll in from 15,000 feet to bomb
the target, his aircraft was hit by an 85mm anti-aircraft shell. After a
brief struggle to regain control, he was forced to eject close to the
target. Ward Dodge is known to have been captured but he apparently died of
unknown causes in a prison camp about a week after he was shot down."
{from the book: "Vietnam Air Losses: USAF, Navy, and Marine Corps Fixed-Wing
Aircraft Losses in SE Asia 1961-1973" The author is Chris Hodson and the
publisher is Midland Publishing, published 2001.}
He went to Kansas State College and was in the R.O.T.C. program. He entered
pilot training as a student officer and was assigned to Pilot Training Class
52-F (Fox) where he graduated from Webb AFB, Texas on September 13, 1952
earning his silver wings. He was given the nickname "schoolboy" by his
classmates at Webb. He, along with my uncle and others from Webb who got to
fly fighters after graduating, were in what was called the "pipeline" to
Korea and were sent to Nellis AFB for combat crew training. He was
eventually sent to Suwon AB at Suwon, Korea, known as K-13 and assigned to
the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing in early 1953. After going through orientation
training in the Replacement Training Unit (RTU) for new replacement pilots,
He, along with my uncle and several others, were assigned to the 36th
Fighter-Bomber Squadron, known as the "Flying Fiends" and got to fly new
F-86F Sabres in the air-to-ground role although they were able to go after
MiGs if the need came up. The 51st FIW across the base had the role of
interceptor work, where the top ace of Korea, Joe McConnell, was stationed.
The 36th FBS set a one-day sorties record on 15 June 1953 by getting 121 for
that day. That record has yet to be broken. Unfortunately, my uncle was shot
down by AA on 19 June 1953 while strafing trucks in North Korea and was
listed as MIA, but others in the squadron continued their careers after the
war including Dodge.
I included a few scanned pictures of Ward Dodge from the 52-F yearbook and a
36th FBS squadron picture with him in the third row, second from left. Also,
a B&W picture that my uncle took of Dodge outside the 36th FBS Ops building
in 1953.
Even though the pictures are 14 years earlier than when he went down, they
will put a face with the name.
BYW, Elmo C. Baker, who was in Ward Dodge's squadron was shot down a month
after Ward and became a POW for six years.