During his service in the Vietnam War, Air Force Major Ronald Reuel Rexroad was reported missing and ultimately declared dead.
On April 3, 1968, an RF-4C Phantom II (tail number 65-0909) with a crew of two embarked on a solo reconnaissance mission over Laos. With the mission completed, the pilot was directed to assess bomb damage to an enemy artillery position. The last contact with the Phantom was when the aircraft was cleared into the target area. When the crew did not call in a report and an electronic search failed to locate the aircraft, search and rescue teams began to look for the Phantom. U.S. Navy personnel eventually found the remains of one crew member in the Gulf of Tonkin; the remains of the other crew member have not been recovered.
Captain Ronald Reuel Rexroad, who joined the U.S. Air Force from Illinois, served with the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. He was the aircraft commander of the Phantom when it disappeared, and his remains have not been recovered. After the incident, the Air Force promoted Captain Rexroad to the rank of Major (Maj). Today, Major Rexroad is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Ronald Reuel Rexroad is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 47e, Line 58.