William Ray Gower - KIA
“Capt. Billy Ray Gower began his Air Force career as a radar observer before entering flight school. Capt. Gower became a B-47 bomber pilot with the Strategic Air Command, where he remained from 1960 until… he was transferred to Luke AFB near Phoenix, Ariz., for fighter training in the F100.
Gower, a graduate of Marshfield High School, was well known as an athlete, and had tried out with a Cincinnati Reds farm team before joining the Air Force. He is a former Southwest Missouri State College student.”(1)
On July 29, 1966, Capt’ Gower’s F-100 was hit by multiple ground file about 25 miles west of Saigon and he perished. It was his first tour in Vietnam and his third mission.
“At the time of his death Capt. Gower was married with three children: a son, and two daughters.” (1)
William is buried at Marshfield Cemetery, Marshfield, Webster County, MO, and is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 09e, Line 87.
(1) The Leader & Press, Springfield, MO, Tuesday, August 2, 1966
- Strategic Air Command (B-47)
- 615th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, 7th Air Force, Phan Rang AB, Vietnam (F-100)
Awards & Decorations
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Air Force Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross
Air Force Good Conduct Medal
Military & Civilian Education
- Marshfield High School
- Southwest Missouri State College