Name: Smith Swords III
Branch/Rank: United States Air Force/O4
Date of Birth: 17 July 1929
Home City of Record: LOS ANGELES CA
Date of Loss: 30 December 1967
Country of Loss: LAOS
Loss Coordinates: 170100 North  1055700 East
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:  F4C
Other Personnel in Incident: Murray Wortham, MIA
Refno: 0956

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.  2020



No further information available at this time.


Library of Congress files:

Laos: Status Review
Country: Laos

Name: Smith Swords, III

Subjects: Aircraft downed; Killed; Xepon

Comments: Enclosures: summary of facts and circumstances, review board
proceedings, HQ AFMPC/JA Legal Review and Report of Casualty

Reel: 230

Page: 37-80

Type of Document: Miscellaneous

Date of Report: 79 00 00

Date of Information: 67 12 30

Originator: USAF

Category: Casualty Files

Laos: Biographic/site report update case 0956
Country: Laos

Name: Swords, S. III

Subjects: Khammouan; Crash site

Comments: Witness stated in Feb 67, 10th BN shot down F-4H near Ban Kok Nak
village. Crash destroyed aircraft and pilot's body. Battalion soldiers
buried parts of pilot's body they were able to find at crash site. Info
possibly correlates with case, based on aircraft type and location of loss.

Reel: 472

Reference Number: 0956-1-01

Page: 307-11

Type of Document: Miscellaneous

Date of Report: 98 08 04

Date of Information: 98 06 01

Originator: JTFFA







Return to Service Member Profiles

On December 30, 1967, an F-4C Phantom II (serial number 63-7658) carrying two crew members took part in a night strike mission over enemy targets in Laos. As the Phantom made a rocket run over the target, it was observed by the other aircraft on the mission to crash just past the rocket impact area. It exploded on impact, skipped off the ground, and traveled roughly 1,000 meters before impacting the ground again. The other aircraft on the mission circled the burning wreckage while looking for signs of survivors, but no ejections were observed and no rescue beeper signals were received. Search efforts were unable to recover either crew member following the loss.

Major Smith Swords III, who entered the U.S. Air Force from California, served with the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron. He was the aircraft commander on this Phantom when it crashed on December 30, 1967, and he was lost in the incident but remains unaccounted-for. While carried in the status of missing in action (MIA), the U.S. Air Force promoted Maj Swords to the rank of Colonel (Col). Today, Colonel Swords is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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