Charles Harold W Read, Jr

United States Air Force
03 February 1929 - 25 July 1978
Miami, Florida
Panel 46W Line 007



USAF Command Pilot

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Charles Harold W Read, Jr

18 Dec 2005

I wear Mr. Read's bracelet proudly and hope someday he will come home.

Lest We Forget

As he laid his hands against the name engraved in the granite of black
his mind realed in the power and his thoughts drifted back....

They gathered for their country in a humid jungle land
and fought for what was true and right, the ultimate test of man
They fought in heat, they fought in night, and fought in pouring rain
They returned when it was over, but some of them remained.

Incarcerated, against their will, by an evil foe
Their own government turned their back, why, we'll never know
They knew they were abandoned, yet they held their will
they fought against their captors with the risk of being killed

Not a night goes by that they don't think about what they left behind
Sons, daughters, and families, of every creed and kind
They've been beaten, and tortured, intentionally kept weak
The very freedom they fought for is now all that they seek

Bring them back home, their families cry,
as the politicians they elected turn a blind eye
These imprisoned men gave all that they had
how can we leave them to be treated so bad.

You see their names on memorials and walls
bracelets, pendants, lining building halls
These good men came forth when the urgent call came
But to all too many they are nothing but names

When the feeling faded, he returned from his cloud
wiped the tears from his eyes, and faded into the crowd
~ Cayle B. Wills, Sergeant, USMC ~

Terry Boharsik

04 May 2007

I wear Colonel Read's bracelet proudly, and I will until he comes home....

Cadet 3/c Joe W.
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

21 Jun 2007

I have worn the bracelet of Read's weapon's system officer, Melvin E. Ladewig, since 1996 when I was given it upon graduation from Air Force Officer Field Training at Dover AFB, Delaware. I have only taken it off when required during surgery: other than that it has been worn consistently for the last 11 years. I have always had a sense while wearing it that I have had a good navigator watching over me, as though Ladewig were in some way with me. Today, upon discovery of this web site, I have learned whom the pilot was that Ladewig was flying with when their Phantom was shot down. It is an interesting coincidence that my own last name is phonetically identical to Read's. Now, whenever I think of Ladewig, I will also think of Read. Their joint sacrifice will not be forgotten.

E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 24 August 1968 two F-4 Phantoms from the 497th TFS at Ubon RTAFB, Thailand, were tasked with an armed reconnaissance mission in southern North Vietnam. After attacking a storage site some 17 miles northwest of Dong Hoi, the flight lead saw a large fireball on the ground and realized it was his wingman's aircraft. There was no evidence that either crewman had ejected before ground impact. The two men lost in F-4D tail number 66-869 were the pilot, Major Charles H. W. Read of Miami, Florida, and his copilot, 1stLt Melvin E. Ladewig of Englewood, Colorado.

Both men were classed as Missing in Action and were promoted while in that status. The Secretary of the Air Force eventually approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the two, Captain Ladewig on 08 Nov 1973 and Colonel Read on 25 July 1978. Their remains have not been repatriated.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who wears his MIA bracelet,
Terry Boharsik

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 18 Dec 2005
Last updated 10/14/2007