O'GRADY, JOHN FRANCIS
Name: John Francis O'Grady
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: New Hyde Park NY
Date of Loss: 10 April 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 175000N 1054600E (WE795662)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
REMARKS: EJECTED - NO RADIO CONTACT
Source: Compiled 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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: Between April 17, 1965 and December 31, 1971, 43 American airmen
were lost and listed as MIA in a 33.3 mile square window of the world known
as the MuGia Pass on the North Vietnam/Lao border. Yet, over 13 years after
the signing of the Paris Peace Accords and almost 13 years after the
Department of Defense announced that no American POWs remained in Southeast
Asia, not one of these men has been officially accounted for by either the
Vietnamese or Lao governments, or officially recovered through
US/Vietnamese/Lao negotiations. John O'Grady is one of those men.
On April 10, 1967, Maj. John F. O'Grady led his element of F105D
fighter/bombers through the Mu Gia Pass on the border of Laos and North
Vietnam. Upon reaching the Vietnam side of the Pass, they turned back to
initiate bombing attacks on selected targets.
Upon reaching his target, O'Grady began his bombing run without opposition
with his wingman 20 seconds to his rear. Approaching the target, he did not
like his alignment. Rather than "drop and run", he aborted his first run and
rolled in behind his wingman for a second attack, and his third exposure to
enemy gunners. This time, O'Grady's aircraft was hit and he radioed, "Losing
control, got to get out."
The wingman at first could not locate O'Grady's plane or parachute, but did
witness his bombs land directly on target. Scanning the skies, the wingman
finally saw O'Grady's parachute in the air southwest of the target. However,
the wind was blowing O'Grady back to the area of the strike. According to
the senior officer in the air, they could have rescued him except for the
O'Grady's parachute disappeared the instant it touched down. The exact spot
was pinpointed but rescue planes found to trace of him when they searched
the area minutes later while under intense ground fire. Later intelligence
indicated that O'Grady's target had been a well-organized, heavily armed
battalion of enemy troops moving south through the Pass.
The next day, two radio broadcasts out of Hanoi and Peking detailed the
capture of American pilots, identifying one of the provinces as the one
where O'Grady went down. He was the only many shot down in that province
that day, and the only pilot lost that week over all of North Vietnam.
Although the Air Force concluded that O'Grady was "in all probability taken
captive", he was listed Missing in Action, and his status was never changed
to Prisoner of War.
It seems improbable that in one of the most heavily traveled sections of the
Ho Chi Minh Trail, all 43 men lost went unnoticed by the other side.
Although there is ample evidence to show otherwise, the governments of Laos
and Vietnam claim no knowledge of the fates of these men.
SUMMARY SELECTION RATIONALE
NAME: O'GRADY, John F., Maj, USAF
OFFICIAL STATUS: MISSING
CASE SUMMARY: SEE ATTACHED
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION: After ejection from his stricken aircraft, Major
O'Grady's parachute was seen twice in the air and once on the ground by a
wingman of his flight. However, search and rescue aircraft were unable to
re-locate his position. There have been no reports of Major O'Grady's
possible capture or death.
REFNO: 0641 19 Apr 76
(U) CASE SUMMARY
1. On . 10 April 1967, Maj John, F. O'Grady was the pilot of an F105D
aircraft, (#624357, call sign Newark 03), the number three aircraft in a
flight of four on an armed reconnaissance mission over the Mu Gia Pass in
North Vietnam. Upon reaching Maj O'Grady maneuvered for a bomb run the
target area, however, it was aborted because he was not lined up properly.
He told the pilot of the number four aircraft to make his pass and he would
follow. Number four made his pass and called off the target. He did not
observe Maj. O'Grady making his bomb run but he did observe Maj. O'Grady's
ordnance impact. (Ref 1 & 2)
2. A short time later, the flight heard Maj O'Grady say he was pulling off
target to the southwest and was receiving ground fire. Then Maj. O'Grady
stated, " I think I'm hit., got an overheat light." He said his engine was
running but he was losing control and would have to get out. He was asked
if he were in the target area but received no reply. Number four circled in
the area and twice spotted Maj O'Grady's parachute in the air and once on
the ground in the vicinity of grid coordinates (GC) WE 819 719. The pilot
of the number four aircraft was too high to actually observe if Maj.
O'Grady was in the parachute. (Ref 1- & 2)
3. After his election, no beeper signals were heard and no radio contact
was made. (His aircraft may have crashed in the vicinity of (GC) WE 795
662.) Search efforts were initiated, but Maj O'Grady was never seen. (Ref 1
4. During the existence of JCRC, the hostile threat in the area precluded
any visits to or ground inspections of the sites involved in this case.
This individual's -name and identifying data were turned over to the
Four-Party Joint Military Team with a request for any information
available. No response was forthcoming. Maj. O'Grady is currently carried
in -the status of missing.
1. MSG (U), 355th CSG, 101505Z Apr 67.
2. RPT (U), 355th CSG, (CBPO-PA) AF Form 484 w/stmts, 14 Apr 67.
* National Alliance of Families Home Page
The following was received from the family of Major John O’Grady, shot down over
For more information visit Major O’Grady’s website at johnogradypowmia.com Please post a word of encouragement to the family in the Guestbook Section and give this email the widest distribution possible.
Despite claims to the contrary on the record by the US
State Department, Patty O'Grady, Ph.D can confirm firsthand with multiple
source confirmation that the remains of Colonel John F. O'Grady USAF, POW/DIC
were recovered from the grave the soldiers who buried him protected for 45