Clyde Walter Carter - KIA
Capt. Clyde Walter Carter was born in Miami, FL, on November 13, 1936. He was serving with the 90th TFS out of Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam in 1967 when his F-100 suffered a mechanical failure on takeoff.
Witnesses remember “an explosion and…the aircraft rolling hard right, trailing flame. The pilot waited until the fighter rolled far enough so he could eject without going straight into the ground. He gave himself a chance at life, but the ejection took place at too low an altitude. I salute a brave man who’s [sic] coolness in a dire emergency still impresses me.” (Jim Hume on The Wall of Faces)
Travis Vanderpool (on The Wall of Faces) remembers Capt Carter: In February 1967, I arrived at Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam. I was a First Lieutenant assigned to the 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron. Clyde Carter was my flight commander. He was a great guy and an outstanding fighter pilot. My first two combat missions were “orientation” missions with Clyde. On the first, I was in the back seat of the 2-seater F-100F with Clyde in the front. On the 2nd mission, I was in the front seat and Clyde was in the back. We came very close to being killed on take-off on that 2nd mission. We both reacted quickly to the emergency. Talking about it afterward, neither of us could tell who did what first, but I’ve wondered whether I would have been here today without Clyde’s experience and quicker reactions.
We enjoyed relative comfort at Bien Hoa. Our “hooch” was a louvered wall building. Like the other pilots, I had a small cubicle assigned to me in which there was a bed, a small desk and, I think, some kind of small locker. The “walls” were just mosquito net. Clyde was in the next cubicle. What I remember so well about Clyde’s space was the framed photo he had on his desk of his wife and little blond-headed kid, a toddler. The photo was taken in what I recall was the aisle of a grocery store. Mom was kneeling down by the child and they were waving to Daddy. I was away on a short R&R at Clark AFB in the Philippines when I got word that Clyde had been killed. The thing that I think popped into my mind when I heard about Clyde was that photo. I can still see it fairly clearly. He was killed on what was to have been his last mission. With expectation of him coming home soon, I know that must have been especially hard on his family.
Walter is buried at Long Island National Cemetery.
- 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
Awards & Decorations
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Military & Civilian Education