Ford, Patrick Osborne, GMG2

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Last Rank
Petty Officer Second Class
Last Primary NEC
GMG-0000-Gunner's Mate Guns
Last Rating/NEC Group
Gunner's Mate G (Guns)
Primary Unit
1966-1968, GMG-0000, PBR-750, River Section 535
Service Years
1960 - 1968
GMG-Gunner's Mate G (Guns)
Two Hash Marks

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1942
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kenny Chandler (Phixer), AME2 to remember Ford, Patrick Osborne, GMG2.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
San Francisco, CA
Last Address
San Francisco, CA

Casualty Date
Jun 21, 1968
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Location
Dinh Tuong (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Golden Gate National Cemetery - San Bruno, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
55W 013 / Section H Site 79

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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2016, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2019, The National Gold Star Family Registry

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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1960, Recruit Training (San Diego, CA)
 Duty Stations
USS James E. Kyes (DD-787)USS George K. Mackenzie (DD-836)USS Henderson (DD-785)River Division 53 (RIVDIV 53), River Squadron 5 (RIVRON-5)
  1960-1963, GMG-0000, USS James E. Kyes (DD-787)
  1966-1966, GMG-0000, USS George K. Mackenzie (DD-836)
  1966-1967, GMG-0000, USS Henderson (DD-785)
  1966-1968, GMG-0000, PBR-750, River Section 535
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1968 Operation Game Warden
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Service Photo1
  USS Ford (FFG 54)1
  PBR's2
  On The River1
  Jan 10, 2019, General Photos
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On 21 June 1968, Petty Officer Ford was serving as the after machine-gunner aboard Patrol River Boat 750 as part of a two-boat patrol operating in the upper My Tho River near the town of Cai Be. The boats were maneuvering down the river when they spotted a sampan fleeing into a nearby canal. The two patrol boats gave chase and captured the sampan one hundred meters further up the canal. As the patrol boat returned to the river with the captured sampan in tow, it was ambushed by a Viet Cong patrol that unleashed an overwhelming barrage of heavy machine-gun fire and rockets.

Two explosive B-40 rockets struck Ford's boat, immediately killing the patrol leader and coxswain. Within seconds, the boat was ablaze and out of control, heading directly for the Viet Cong positions. Even as the boat was hit by four additional rockets, and after suffering serious injuries, Ford tenaciously maintained a steady volume of return fire from his aft machine-gunner's station. In the face of enemy gunfire and with his clothing on fire, Ford assisted three seriously wounded shipmates into the water. Only after ensuring that all the surviving crew had left the boat did Ford make his way into the water. He was the last man alive to leave what remained of Patrol River Boat 750.

Soon after Petty Officer Ford entered the water, he was killed by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire. However, as a result of his fearless devotion to duty, he saved the lives of two of his shipmates. For his "extraordinary heroism" and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy, Petty Officer Ford was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

   
Comments/Citation
Attack on PBR 750

 
Name of Award
Navy Cross
Year Awarded
1968
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Gunner's Mate Second Class Patrick Osborne Ford (NSN: 5347843), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 21 June 1968 while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against the communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Petty Officer Ford was serving as a machine gunner on River Patrol Boat SEVEN HUNDRED-FIFTY (PBR-750), River Section 535, River Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), which was ambushed during a combat patrol by a Viet Cong force using rockets and heavy machine guns. The enemy rocket fire disabled his craft and started a fire on board, causing the PBR to go out of control and head for the shore line directly in front of the enemy firing positions. Although seriously wounded, Petty Officer Ford returned a continuous volume of fire into the Viet Cong positions. Realizing that his boat was out of control, and in the face of point-blank hostile fire, he assisted three of his more seriously wounded shipmates from the PBR into the water. Only after insuring that all the surviving crew members had left the boat did Petty Officer Ford give any thought to his own safety. He was the last man to leave the boat. As a result of his heroic actions and fearless devotion to duty, Petty Officer Ford saved the lives of two of his shipmates, gallantly sacrificing his own in doing so. His extraordinary heroism under fire was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals)
Action Date: 21 Jun 1968
Service: Navy
Rank: Gunners Mates Guns Second Class
Battalion: River Section 535
Division: Task Force 116 (TF-116)

 
   
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