Bob W Ford

United States Air Force
19 February 1954 - 13 May 1975
Seminole, Texas
Panel 01W Line 125



USAF Commendation Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Bob W Ford

31 Dec 2004

Bob W. Ford grew up in Seminole, Texas and was a 1972 graduate of Seminole High School. He enlisted in the Air Force upon graduation and was a Security Policeman. He began a tour in Thailand in 1975 and was a member of a 17 man Air Force Security Police who were dispatched to aid in the recovery of the SS MAYAGUEZ crew. On May 13, 1975, the helicopter with the 17 passengers and a crew of 4, crashed and killed all aboard. Sgt Ford was the last known Permian Basin resident of West Texas to die in the Vietnam War. He is remembered by his community and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Midland, Texas. May his sacrifice never be forgotten.

From a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown

17 Feb 2005

I am a point of contact for Sergeant Bob W. Ford of the 56th Security Police Squadron. Anyone who needs info for Bob can contact me. I am his first cousin from Seminole, Texas. His death was due to a helicopter crash during the rescue of the ship SS MAYAGUEZ. Any of his friends please contact me at or

Thank You.

From a first cousin,
Ann Gowdey Beck
701 N E Avenue C, Seminole, Texas 79360

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 56th Security Police Squadron, part of the 56th Special Operations Wing at Nakon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, was tasked with providing support during the MAYAGUEZ incident in 1975. The Security Police were to be flown from Nakon Phanom to U-Tapao RTAFB, Thailand, aboard a CH-53 helicopter (hull number 68-1033) belonging to the 21st Special Operations Squadron. However, the helicopter crashed approximately 330 miles NE of Bangkok on the Thai-Laotion border, and all aboard were killed.
  • 21st SOS aircrew:
    • Capt James G. Kays, Atlanta, GA
    • 1stLt Laurence E. Froehlich, Sodus, MI
    • TSgt George E. McMullen, Oxford, CA
    • Sgt Robert P. Weldon, Kansas City, KS

  • 56th Security Police Squadron:
    • Sgt Jimmy P. Black, Daphne, AL
    • Sgt Bobby G. Collums, Helena, AZ
    • SSgt Gerald A. Coyle, Bentleyville, PA
    • Sgt Thomas D. Dwyer, Middlebury, CT
    • Sgt Bob W. Ford, Seminole, TX
    • Sgt Gerald W. Fritz, Junction, TX
    • TSgt Jackie D. Glenn, Seymour, MO
    • Sgt Darrell L. Hamlin, Iowa City, IA
    • Sgt Gregory L. Hankamer, San Pedro, CA
    • Sgt David A. Higgs, Spokane, WA
    • SSgt Faleagafula Ilaoa, San Francisco, CA
    • Sgt Michael D. Lane, Jacksonville, FL
    • Sgt Dennis W. London, Sparks, NV
    • Sgt Robert P. Mathias, Granada Hills, CA
    • Sgt William R. McKelvey, Philadelphia, PA
    • Amn Edgar C. Moran, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Sgt Tommy R. Nealis, Mount Sterling, KY
    • Sgt Robert W. Ross, Cypress, CA

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown 
1 Jan 2005

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 02/19/2005