Thursday, May 21, 2015 – Captain John Robert Baldridge, MIA, Vietnam Conflict

Thursday, May 21, 2015 – Captain John Robert Baldridge, MIA, Vietnam Conflict

Captain John Robert Baldridge, MIA, Vietnam Conflict


Name – John Robert Baldridge, Jr.

Rank – Captain

Panel – 16 W 97

Status – MIA

I wore the POW bracelet with the name John R. Baldridge, Jr. on it while I attended undergraduate school at Stephen F. Austin State University (1967-1971). That would mean almost my four years in college.

I continued to wear it until it became too fragile to wear.  The bracelet is lost among the memories of time but the memory of him is not.

Unfortunately, I never met him. But I never forgot his name. The first time I visited the Vietnam Wall in Washington D. C. in the mid 1990’s I did a rubbing of his name. I did not realize the significance of the symbol beside his name until I had returned to Texas.

When the Vietnam Traveling Wall came to Georgetown, Texas about seven years ago, I took this photograph. It hangs on a wall in my office.

 Capt. John Robert Baldridge

Since the days of wearing Captain Baldridge’s name on my wrist, with the help of the internet and social media, I learned that Butch, as his friends called him, attended Texas A&M University.

With those tools in mind, here’s hoping someone might read this, see his name, recognize some of the data in the linked websites and can provide more information.

With that in mind, here are some links that tell the story of John Robert, “Butch,” Baldridge, Jr.beginning with basic data from a compilation of sources and resources. The symbols +++ are used to separate the various sites. Yes, the + is intentional and similar to the symbol that precedes Captain Baldridge’s name on the Vietnam Wall.

Basic information and data


Name: John Robert Baldridge

Rank/Branch: United States Air Force/O2


Date of Birth: 02 November 1946

Home City of Record: Memphis TN

Date of Loss: 20 November 1969

Country of Loss: Laos

Loss Coordinates: 152300 North  1073200 East

Status (in 1973): Presumptive Finding of Death

Category: 3

Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: O2A #21301


Other Personnel in Incident: Walter Renelt, still missing,PFOD

Refno: 1524

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw

data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA

families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action

Combat Casualty File.


No further information available at this time.


From The Vietnam Letters website

John Robert Baldridge Jr.


Unit: 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron

Date of Birth: 2-Nov-46 Date of Death: 20-Nov-69 City: Memphis State: TN

Notes: Captain Baldridge was a member of the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron. On November 20, 1969, he was the pilot of a Cessna Skymaster Observation Aircraft (O-2A) on a mission over Laos when his aircraft was shot down. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

Did you know John Robert Baldridge Jr.? Did you serve with him? Did you wear his bracelet? Do you have a story of him or photo to share?  If you can answer yes to any of those questions, please leave a comment, so all can know that he has not been forgotten.


This website details the crash.


The Virtual Wall

The Virtual Wall provides the best memory of Captain Baldridge. It is an interactive site that allows one to search names on Vietnam Wall.  Click on the link below and see his medals learn a bit more about him.


On  May 31, 2010, in Captain’s Baldridge’s home state of Tennessee, he and others from the state were honored by The Single Chair. As of that date there were still 32 MIAs from Tennessee alone!


How many others still have a status of POW/MIA? Click on the link – POW/

and watch the names scroll across your screen.

Thank you, Butch and all the others for your sacrifice.

5 responses to “Thursday, May 21, 2015 – Captain John Robert Baldridge, MIA, Vietnam Conflict

  1. Reblogged this on Here's What I'm Thinking and commented:

    A Reblog- Lost the Twitter feed. Sorry.


  2. Kimberley Barnes Brooks

    My father was Butch’s first cousin (their mothers were sisters) and they were as close as brothers. He died right after I was born, but all my life I heard stories of their mischief and listened as my dad grieved the loss of his closest male relative. I do have pictures in my site from my dad’s collection. I’ve never seen your blog but my cousin posted it today on Memorial Day and I thank you for wearing his bracelet all those years ago and compiling this in memory of him.


  3. This is my grandmother’s first cousin. My mom just shared the link I her Facebook page and told the story of our family finding out he was MIA and the time spent with his pregnant wife while he was serving in Vietnam. Did she send you an email?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have worn his bracelet since 1997 when I was a freshman in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. I was a member of Squadron 17 and was a top finisher in the annual Butch Baldridge marching competition for the Air Force units. My father is also a Vietnam veteran. So, there is special meaning to me to continue to remember Captain Baldrige and honor his service and sacrifice by donning the bracelet that bears his name.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shaun,
      Thank you for your comment. I live in the Brazos Valley and would like to know more about Squadron 17 and the annual Butch Baldridge marching competitions. There is indeed special meaning to honor and remember Captain Baldridge.


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