Air Force Maj. Neal C. Ward, killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for July 19, 2019.
(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)
On June 13, 1969, Ward was a member of the 602nd Special Operations Squadron, as the pilot of an A-1H aircraft, leading a flight of two on an armed reconnaissance mission in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Following four bombing runs, Ward started a strafing run. His wingman initially followed but broke off. The wingman saw automatic weapons muzzle flashes from the target area, followed by a large fire and explosion. He was unable to establish contact with Ward, and did not observe a parachute. He passed over the target area and saw debris, but was unable to identify it as Ward’s wreckage. Due to hostile enemy activity in the area, a ground search was not possible. Based on a lack of information regarding Ward’s status, he was declared deceased on June 20, 1978.