Name: Randolph Wright Ford
Branch/Rank: United States Navy/O4
Unit: Attack Squadron VA-86 aboard the USS America (CV-66)
Date of Birth: 19 July 1935
Home City of Record: GAINESVILLE FL
Date of Loss: 11 June 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 181600 North  1060600 East
Status (in 1973): Died in Captivity
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A7A
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno: 1207

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.  2018




Broken Arm, seen detention center by PWs, taken away

No further information available at this time.


February 28, 2018

LCDR Randolph W. Ford was a U.S. Navy pilot assigned to Attack Squadron VA-86 aboard the USS America (CV-66). On June 11, 1968, LCDR Ford was the pilot of an A-7A Corsair II (#153265), call sign Sidewinder 404, launched on a night road reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Ford made one flare drop over a target, and shortly thereafter his wingman saw an orange fireball and an explosion. The wingman was able to contact Ford on the guard (emergency) radio frequency and was told by Ford that he had a broken arm and that the enemy was nearby. Search and rescue (SAR) efforts were begun immediately and continued for about ten hours in the general area with 29 aircraft participating in the search. Voice and beeper signals were heard in the early hours of the attempted rescue, however, as time passed, it appeared that the enemy had gained possession of the beeper and was using it to lure SAR forces. All SAR efforts, with the exception of electronic search, were discontinued when a SAR helicopter received hostile fire from the vicinity of the beeper signal. On June 13, 1968, a Hanoi Radio broadcasted that ďAt 0200 hours on June 11th, U.S. warplanes attacked a populated area in Ha Tinh Province. One of them were knocked down on the spot, and the air pirate captured by the militia in Cam Xuyen District.Ē A returning POW stated he personally talked to Ford on June 15, 1968, claiming he had a broken arm and possible internal injuries. He believes he witnessed Fordís death after receiving only perfunctory medical aid from the North Vietnamese. His remains were repatriated to the U.S. on August 14, 1985, and positively identified on November 4, 1985. He was promoted to Commander during the time he was missing. [Taken from]

Submitted by William M. Killian