Murray Lamar Wortham

480TH TFS, 366TH TFW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
26 May 1943 - 18 January 1977
San Augustine, Texas
Panel 33E Line 006



USAF Pilot

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

The database page for Murray Lamar Wortham

Memorial Day, 2003

I found your MIA/POW bracelet more than 30 years ago in a small consignment shop. I still have it. You are not forgotten. May your family find peace.

Barbara Fitzgerald
3307 Texas Avenue, Baltimore, Md 21234

09 Dec 2005

I put on a POW-MIA bracelet bearing Captain Murray Wortham's name in April 1972 when I was in navigator training. I wore it through 18 more years in the Air Force during which I flew as a Weapons System Operator in the RF-4. The original bracelet broke so I replaced it. I am still wearing it today.

Lester Pittman
Charleston, S C

28 May 2007

I put on your bracelet in 1972 and kept it on until if fell off. I have your name that was taken from the Wall in Washington DC on my wall in my home. I never will forget you and the other men and women who fought and died for our freedom. Today is Memoral Day 2007. I am the speaker at our annual Memorial Day event in Magnolia, Arkansas. I will speak in honor of you. May God bless your familiy, and Captain Worthan, thank you!!

Patty Clary
Magnolia, Arkansas

Notes from The Virtual Wall

A flight of two F-4C aircraft of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron departed Danang Air Base in the early evening of 30 December 1967, bound on a "Steel Tiger" interdiction mission against the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. Their call signs were Flamingo 01 and 02.

On arrival in the target area about 25 miles southwest of the Ban Karai Pass, Flamingo lead checked in with the Forward Air Controller and received a target briefing for rocket attacks against truck traffic. Target area weather was good - no moon, no clouds, and a horizon visible by starlight. As it happened, Flamingo 02 (F-4C tail number 63-7658) was the first aircraft cleared for a firing run.

Flamingo 02 approached from the east in a shallow dive delivery, releasing his rockets while the FAC and Flamingo 01 watched. After Flamingo 02's weapons impacted, Flamingo 02 itself hit the ground about a quarter mile beyond the target, exploded, and skipped like a rock for about two thousand feet before coming to rest. The wreckage burned for 15 minutes or so. There were no indications that Flamingo 02's two crewmen had escaped their aircraft.

On termination of airborne SAR efforts - the enemy presence precluded inserting a ground team - the two crewmen were classed as Missing in Action:

  • Major Smith J. Swords, pilot in command
  • 1st Lt Murray Lamar Wortham, copilot
Eventually the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the two men, Wortham on 18 Jan 1977 and Swords on 17 Aug 1979.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 May 2003
Last updated 08/10/2009