01 May Lance LaGrange Headed West (KIA) In 1968
- Lance LaGrange was raised in Maspeth, NY and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York with a BSEE Degree. He also graduated at the top of his USAF pilot training class 68A at Craig AFB. His first operational assignment was flying F- 100s with the 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam. His combat tour began on 6 June 68 and he was KIA during a Landing Zone Prep mission in Binh Dinh Province on July 02, 1968.
This was during the height of Vietnam war (1968) when 35 F-100 combat losses were recorded and total U.S. losses were 16,592.
Lance was married to Charlene from Utica, NY while in Pilot training. Fifteen years later, Charlene suffered a fatal stroke while flying from Charlotte to Albany, NY in 1983.
- One hundred and ninety-one (191) F-100s were “shot down” in Southeast Asia and 1968 was the year of the most intense combat (35 shot down). AFFDL-TR-77-115.
- Lance’s loss is recorded on the Vietnam War Memorial Vietnam Wall recollections.
- SSS member Jerry Wetterling remembers the loss and was in the in the 309th TFS at Tuy Hoa.
- Don Brown, a classmate in USAF pilot training class 68A class at Craig AFB, AL assisted with these details.