LTC Sherman Edward Flanagan, Jr hailed from Westminster Md and served with the 355TFS/37TFW. On this day he ejected from his F-100 aircraft over Laos and was recovered. He had minor injuries. However, on July 21, 1968, the news read ” A Super Sabre and its pilot was lost during a mission to destroy an anti-aircraft
Lawrence William Whitford, Jr. - KIA
Lawrence William Whitford Jr. graduated from Cedar Falls High School in the class of 1947. His father, L.W. “Mon” Whitford, was a longtime University of Northern Iowa baseball coach.
Lawrence went on and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University. Upon graduation, Whitford was commissioned as an officer after completing the Air Force ROTC program.
While in the service Whitford met his wife Patrice Joan Lee, they were married in November 1953 outside of Dallas, Texas. The couple had two children, Nancy and Larry Jr. The family moved from base to base all across the country. They lived in places like Indiana, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and briefly overseas in England.
LtCOL Whitford piloted F-100 Super Sabre jets and received two Air Medals during his service. In February 1969 he was sent to Southeast Asia and assigned to the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron in the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, better known as their radio call sign “Misty”. The Mistys conducted classified missions over Laos. Their mission was to identify and intercept enemy supply lines along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. This was an extremely dangerous assignment. The Mistys had a 28 percent casualty rate and infiltrated deep behind enemy lines.
On November 2, 1969, LT COL Whitford and his navigator, Michigan native 1LT Carroll, departed their airbase in South Vietnam on a visual reconnaissance mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. During the flight Whitford radioed he was running low on fuel. Whitford’s F-100 never returned to base. Several months later, a damaged plane thought to be the plane flown by Carroll and Whitford was found in the area with no bodies inside. Both men were declared missing in action by the Air Force.
Later, in 1978, the Department of Defense reclassified the airmen as “presumed killed.”(1)
Bill’s daughter, Nancy Whitford Eger, has never given up on finding her father.
Lawrence has a grave marker at Arlington National Cemetery, and is honored