Don Charles Wood

354TH TFS, 355TH TFW, 13TH AF
United States Air Force
11 November 1929 - 03 March 1980
Provo, Utah
Panel 04E Line 076



USAF Pilot

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

The database page for Don Charles Wood

27 Jan 1999

A flight of five F-105s departed TAKHLI RTAFB at 1516 hours on 16 January 1966. Their target was automated AAA gun positions in the Plain of Jars, Laos. Don C. Wood's F-105D fighter aircraft was flying as the number five aircraft, equipped with two 70mm camera pods. His mission was to photograph the damage inflicted by the strike for damage assessment. He followed every run in, not necessarily in formation to get photos.

They made one bombing run, one rocket run, and two strafing passes. During the third strafing pass #4 thought his gun blew up. At the same time #1 called and asked who headed north and did a 360 degree roll. Lead had seen an F-105 cross about 5000 feet in front of him on a northerly heading in a 20 degree climb. That was Don Wood's F-105D.

Confusion ensued as #3 checked #4 for damage. Radio contact could not be established with Olds 5 on the tactical channel or on guard channel. Olds 5 was not seen to crash, but was believed to have crashed 8 to 15 miles north of the target. Olds 1 and 2 searched the area north and east for wreckage while #3 and #4 refueled by air tanker. Then Olds 3 and 4 took up the search until dark. All four F-105s had to land at Udorn due to minimum fuel.

Captain Don Wood was declared Missing in Action as the first USAF loss of 1966. Promoted while in MIA status, Wood held O-6 (Colonel) rank when a Presumptive Finding of Death was issued on 3 March 1980 - 14 years after his last flight over Laos. His remains have not been repatriated.

From the
POW Network

A memorial placed by
Bob Jacobs
Current E-Mail address not available

14 Apr 2002

I have worn Don's POW/MIA bracelet for 31 years.

Over the years, I have followed reports of his
whereabouts; at one time there was a glimmer of
hope that he was alive in Laos.

I am absolutely heartbroken.

Diane C. Day
926 Palmer Road #7, Fort Washington, MD 20744

03 Jul 2006

My sister bought a POW Bracelet for me when I was in the first grade. I broke it shortly afterwards, but my mom kept the pieces for a long time. The name on the bracelet was burned into my memory for two reasons. One, as a child I loved to say "Lt. Don Wood" and secondly he went MIA 4 months and 2 days before I was born. I have followed Captain Wood's information since the internet came into being.

My heart goes out to him and his family. You will live forever in heart, and mind, Captain Don Woods.

Jennifer Campbell

27 Dec 2006

I just found my POW/MIA bracelet that my mother got for me on my birthday years ago. My son Karsten and I "Googled" Don's name and found this site. We said a little prayer for a big man who answered the call of this great nation. Peace to you, Lt Col Don Wood, may we bring you home to rest in our beloved soil.

Todd Binkley
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail address is not available.

10 Apr 2008

I wear a POW/MIA bracelet that my daughter Shanelle gave me and I had to find our who Colonel Donald Charles Wood was. Shanelle's birthday is November 11th, the same day he bacame a POW/MIA.

I wear it proudly, as my daughter is now a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force.

Katherine M. Wilson
Belleville, Michigan

13 Jun 2008

My mom bought me a MIA Bracelet in 1971. I wore Don Wood's bracelet until it broke in two pieces. I still have it. I remember checking the newspaper each time they published the lists of prisoners returning home when the war ended. I never saw his name but have always wondered what happened to him. I think of him so much now that our great men and women are again in harm's way. Thanks to my teenager, I found this site. I am so sad to learn the circumstances of such a wonderful man. I will forever think of him and his great sacrifice for our country. Because of men such as LtCol Don Wood we still live in the greatest country in the world. Thanks, Don, for your sacrifice.

Kim Houston

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Jan 1999
Last updated 08/10/2009