Randolph Jefferson ArdChief Warrant Officer
HHC, 1ST BDE, 5TH INFANTRY DIVISION, USARV
Army of the United States
16 June 1951 - 18 September 1978
West Pensacola, Florida
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The database page for Randolph Jefferson Ard
You are home ... sweet home, Alabama. Rest in Peace, Soldier.
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 07 March 1971 a unit of the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, was engaged in northwest South Vietnam. An OH-58A observation helicopter (tail number 68-16814) was detailed to pick up the Commanding Officer, 1/1 Cavalry, and take him to the vicinity of the engagement. The aircraft, piloted by Warrant Officer Randolph Ard, departed base, made a stop to pick up three passengers, and headed for the area of the enagagement. The four men aboard the aircraft were
Realizing that additional enemy forces were closing rapidly, and that neither Ard nor Burnett could be moved, Bodenhorn and Castillo left the wreckage in an attempt to evade capture. When they were at some distance from the wreckage they watched a UH-1C make a rocket firing run in the OH-58's vicinity, and later witnessed an F-4 make a single bomb run against the location. Although they knew Ard and Burnett were alive when they left the downed aircraft, Bodenhorn and Castillo were convinced the rocket fire and bombs must have killed them. Bodenhorn and Castillo met up with an ARVN unit about an hour later, but the enemy presence precluded any attempt to return to the OH-58 site. No rescue effort was mounted by US forces in SVN. Eleven days later, a ground force did reach the OH-58 but did not find either Ard or Burnett.
LTC Burnett and WO Ard were classed as Missing in Action and remained in that status for some years. The Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death for CWO Ard on 18 Sep 1978 and COL Burnett on 29 May 1979.
The remains of the two men were repatriated on 04 Oct 2004 and identified on 09 Dec 2004. Colonel Burnett's remains were buried in Arlington on 13 April 2005. Warrant Officer Ard had been buried almost a month earlier:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 04/16/2005