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Wreath to Be Laid in Honor of Fort Thomas Pilot Lost in Vietnam War


A wreath will be laid soon to remember a Fort Thomas native lost in the Vietnam War.

Rolling Thunder KY 5 will lay the wreath as part of a short ceremony to honor Captain Joseph Ross at the Boone County Veterans and POW/MIA Memorial. 

The event is set for Saturday, August 3, at 2 p.m.

Ross, a pilot, was joined by Colonel Thompson, an aircraft commander, as comprising the crew of a McDonnell F4D Phantom jet.

Their flight departed DaNang Airbase in South Vietnam on August 1, 1968 as part of an armed reconnaissance mission over Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam.

The flight was diverted along the way by command staff to check out suspected truck traffic in the vicinity of the original target. The flight dropped several sets of illumination flares that allowed the crew to confirm North Vietnamese truck traffic.

Shortly after 3 a.m., Thompson told an accompanying crew in a different plane to circle the area while he made a bombing pass on the trucks.

While the second plane circled the area, a pilot inside noticed a large explosion within several hundred feet of the moving targets.

Further contact with Thompson and Ross was not able to be established.

No parachutes were seen and no emergency beepers were heard.

When daylight arrived, an airborne command post monitored emergency electronic signals seemingly coming from the crash site. Further search efforts could not establish the whereabouts or source of those signals.

There was no trace of the aircraft's wreckage.

Five days later, search and rescue efforts were halted, and Thompson and Ross were listed as Missing in Action.

Colonel Thompson and Captain Ross are two of the 1,588 Servicemen that remain missing from the Vietnam War today. 

-Staff report

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