Today in History – November 2, 1969 – LtCol Lawrence William Whitford/Capt Patrick Henry Carroll are MIA

On November 2, 1969, LtCol. Lawrence W. Whitford, Jr., pilot, and 1Lt. Patrick H. Carroll, navigator, departed Tuy Hoa Airbase in South Vietnam in an F-100F Super Sabre fighter bomber # 563796 on a visual reconnaissance mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos.

LtCol Lawrence W. Whitford, Jr.
1Lt Patrick H. Carroll

Whitford radioed that he was running out of fuel in Attapeu Province, about 20 miles east of the city of Muong May. He had a scheduled refueling but never appeared. Searches did not reveal any sign of the aircraft crash or the crew.

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 and nothing to indicate that the crew had perished in the crash. Both Whitford and Carroll were declared Missing in Action.

Carroll and Whitford went down in an area heavily infiltrated by enemy forces. In Whitford’s case, there is certain indication that the enemy knows what happened to him. As pilot, he would have ejected second. In Carroll’s case, it is highly suspected that the Lao or the Vietnamese know his fate.

Patrick Carroll attended the Air Force Academy, graduated from the University of Colorado, and had just begun a promising career in the military. Larry Whitford was a senior officer with a distinguished record.

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.;

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