MIA bracelet - Lt. Col. Ward Dodge

MIA bracelet - Lt. Col. Ward Dodge

Posted in the Utica Forum

Christine Gallant

Wichita, KS

#1 Mar 30, 2010
I will gladly send this bracelet to a family member who would like it.
I have had it since I was a teenager.
I thank Ward for his ultimate sacrific in that horrible war.
Chris Gallant
Wichita
Christine Gallant

Wichita, KS

#2 Mar 30, 2010
Oh, email is [email protected]
13erickson

Orlando, FL

#3 Sep 19, 2010
To this day I wear this bracelet. Thru hospital stays & everything else. I will honor him & all others that wear the uniform of this country. Rest in peace.
Gail C Boston MA

Duxbury, MA

#4 May 8, 2011
I too wore the bracelet for Lt. Col. Ward Dodge July 5, 1967 for about 10+ years when I was a teenager and recently found it while cleaning out an old jewelry box. Time may have past but let us never forget the men and women who sacrificed it all for our freedom.
Candace Hecht Dallas TX

Allen, TX

#5 Jun 14, 2011
I wore the bracelet, too, for Lt. Col. Ward Dodge when I was a teenager. I still have it and have never forgotten my POW's name, nor the sacrifice that so many gave for us.
Pam Johnson

Van Nuys, CA

#6 Jun 30, 2011
I'm moving and just came upon a box filled with items I have not seen since junior high. I found the POW bracelet I wore while attending Marston Jr. High School in San Diego in the 1970s. I remember receiving it in 6th grade and proudly wearing it in junior high. I wanted to see if he ever returned and am saddened to hear he did not. Many people including myself were holding vigil for Lt. Col. Ward Dodge and my heart goes out to his family. If anyone can give me some details about his life and when he went to war, I would be grateful. I'd like to know more about the soldier I rooted for all those years during the Vietnam War.

Pam Johnson
June 30, 2011
Jim Escalle

Bakersfield, CA

#7 Aug 2, 2011
Pam Johnson wrote:
I'm moving and just came upon a box filled with items I have not seen since junior high. I found the POW bracelet I wore while attending Marston Jr. High School in San Diego in the 1970s. I remember receiving it in 6th grade and proudly wearing it in junior high. I wanted to see if he ever returned and am saddened to hear he did not. Many people including myself were holding vigil for Lt. Col. Ward Dodge and my heart goes out to his family. If anyone can give me some details about his life and when he went to war, I would be grateful. I'd like to know more about the soldier I rooted for all those years during the Vietnam War.
Pam Johnson
June 30, 2011
Pam, I can give you a bit of Col. Dodge's history. He and my uncle flew in Korea. My uncle became MIA there. If interested, contact me at: [email protected] I'm also on Facebook.
scarlettgreyfell

Cicero, IN

#8 Aug 4, 2011
My Mother wore this one for years! She was curious about the status of this POW and was hoping he was found and brought home.
Jim Escalle

Bakersfield, CA

#9 Aug 4, 2011
Pam Johnson wrote:
I'm moving and just came upon a box filled with items I have not seen since junior high. I found the POW bracelet I wore while attending Marston Jr. High School in San Diego in the 1970s. I remember receiving it in 6th grade and proudly wearing it in junior high. I wanted to see if he ever returned and am saddened to hear he did not. Many people including myself were holding vigil for Lt. Col. Ward Dodge and my heart goes out to his family. If anyone can give me some details about his life and when he went to war, I would be grateful. I'd like to know more about the soldier I rooted for all those years during the Vietnam War.
Pam Johnson
June 30, 2011
Pam, here is a short bio on Ward Dodge:
I believe that if my uncle didn't lose his life in Korea, he would have flown in Vietnam like many of his contemporaries. Several in his squadron flew missions in Southeast Asia, either as fighter pilots or flying other aircraft. All of them returned home, except for Ward K. Dodge, who was not only one of my uncle’s squadron mates in Korea, but was also a 52-F classmate at Webb AFB.
Dodge graduated from Kansas State College and was commissioned through its ROTC program. He entered pilot training as a student officer and was assigned to Pilot Training Class 52-F (Fox) where he graduated from Webb AFB, Texas on September 13, 1952, earning his silver wings. He was given the nickname "schoolboy" by his classmates at Webb. He, along with my uncle and others from Webb who got to fly fighters after graduating, were in what was called the "pipeline to Korea” and were sent to Nellis AFB for combat crew training.
Upon his arrival at Suwon AB (K-13), Dodge, who preferred to be called by his middle name, Kent, was sent to the RTU (replacement training unit) for orientation training. After graduating from RTU, he was sent to the 36th FBS and got to fly the F-86F Sabre in fighter-bomber operations.
In January 1954, Dodge was assigned as an F-86D instructor pilot at Perrin AFB in Texas. He spent over six years there until he became Chief of Combat Operations for the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing at Bitburg AB in Germany. In 1963 he was assigned as an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He served there until the fall of 1966, when he began training for Southeast Asia.
In March 1967, Dodge began flying combat missions with the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Licking Dragons". The 357th was part of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Takhli, Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB) in Thailand.
On July 5, 1967, while flying an F-105D Thunderchief on a bombing mission, Dodge got hit by ground fire. As one formation of Thuds was hitting the Cao Nung Bridge, another group was bombing the railway yard at Vu Chua a few miles to the southeast. Just as Maj. Dodge was about to roll in from 15,000 feet to bomb the target, his aircraft was hit by an 85mm antiaircraft shell. After a brief struggle to regain control, he was forced to eject close to the target. Dodge is known to have been captured but he apparently died of unknown causes in a prison camp about a week after he was shot down.
When he was hit by the antiaircraft shell, Dodge didn't eject until he regained just enough control of his aircraft to finish his bombing run, releasing his bombs squarely on the target. In disregarding his own safety, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions.
On March 13, 1974, his remains were repatriated and were buried at the Air Force Academy Cemetery.
Brenda Shears

United States

#10 Aug 12, 2011
I too wore his bracelet; I was out of college several years at the time. I learned much later that he did not make it back; but I never knew what happened to him until I came across his bracelet today and decided to search the internet. Thanks, Jim Escalle, for your writeup on Lt. Col. Dodge.
Derek Mitchell

Saint Cloud, FL

#11 May 4, 2012
My dad, Maj. Peter Mitchell, got a MIA bracelet in 1969 when he returned from his second tour in Viet Nam. I aksed him if he could get me one. Mine says" LT. COL WARD DODGE 7-5-67". I wore it until I joined the military in 1982. I have carried it with me since. When I saw this string of posts, it took me less than 30 seconds to get it and come back. I did not know his remains were found. I too would like to return it to his family.
George W Mike

Morgantown, WV

#12 Aug 27, 2012
I was just lying in bed thinking about if they ever found Lt. Col Dodge as I sometimes do, and it hit me about looking on the Internet I also wore his bracelet when I was in 6th grade living in Maryland, I can't remember how I got it (I'm 54 now and have MS and sometimes I can't remember what I watched on TV last night but I could always remember the Col's name) when we moved to WV in 69 I still had the bracelet but when I started Jr high school in WV some bigger not so smart kids we'll say had taken from me by less than friendly means, I tried to tell them what it was about they took it anyway, thinking that it was a peice of jewelry I guess to get some money for it
Like I said I'm 54 now but I always wondered what happened to Col. Dodge, now I know, but I'll still think of him from time to time. RIP Lt. Col. Dodge and thank you.
George W Mike Jr
Angel Sundman

Wyoming, MI

#13 Jul 30, 2013
I too wore this POW bracelet. I was in 3rd grade as the prisoners of war returned. As they walked off their planes I listened and prayed that one of them would be my Lt. Col. Ward Dodge. He never returned but I have always hoped I somehow just missed him and he went on and had a happy life. I am saddened to hear this wasn't the case. RIP brave soldier. Thank you for your sacrifice!
Janet Roffina

Union, NJ

#14 Mar 10, 2014
I just decided to look up the name of Lt. Ward Dodge because I , too, wore his bracelet for many years. I found out years ago that he did not survive his military service, but I was relieved to find out that his remains were returned to the USA many years later. Did he have a wife or children? I hope they know that so many of us thought about Lt Dodge for many, many years and we thank him for the ultimate sacrifice that he made for all of our freedom. God Bless Lt. Dodge and God Bless the USA.
elizabeth7652

Folsom, CA

#15 Oct 2, 2015
Great to see the history of Lt. Col Ward Dodge. I worn his bracket for years. He was shot down the day before my 15th birthday.

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