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RYDER, JOHN LESLIE

Name: John Leslie Ryder

Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force

Unit: Date of Birth: 05 July 1946
Home City of Record: Chisholm MN
Date of Loss: 09 June 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 1043419N 1074243E (YB785205)

Status (in 1973): Missing In Action

Category: 4 -- Unknown Knowledge
A. Individuals whose time and place of incident are unknown
(e.g., aircrews members downed at the unknown locations or ground personnel
that were separated from their units at an unknown time or place), and
B. Who do not meet criteria of categories 1 through 3.

Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: O1F
Refno: 1632

Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.

Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 1998.
Other Personnel In Incident: Barry W. Hilbrich (missing)

REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: Air Force 1Lt. John L. Ryder was the pilot
of an O1F spotter aircraft on which Special Forces Operations Officer
Capt. Barry W. Hilbrich was serving as observer.
The two departed Pleiku Airbase on a visual reconnaissance mission on June 9, 1970
south of Ben Het in South Vietnam with an ultimate destination of Camp Dak Saeng.

The aircraft was located just north of Pleiku and was in radio contact
with the tactical air control center.
Their next scheduled radio contact was at 1327 hours,
but no further communication was established.
Ryder and Hilbrich were reported missing.

No immediate visual search could be initiated because of incliment weather,
and an electronic search conducted produced no trace
of the aircraft of the crew. During the period of
June 10-19 an extensive search was carried out extending
from Pleiku north to the I Corps boundary and west of the Cambodian border,
with no sightings of either aircraft or its two officers.
The two were officially classified Missing In Action.

It cannot be determined whether the enemy knew their fates.

It was thought by the families of most of the men missing
that even though they got no word of their loved one,
there every chance they had been captured.
When the war ended in 1973, and 591 Americans were released in Operation Homecoming,
military experts expressed their dismay that "some hundreds"
of POWs did not come home with them. Many families were devastated.

John Ryder's mother went to see the Vietnamese in England in 1976.
While they were very cordial to her, she says,
"they repeated over and over again, they will give out no information
on the missing men until the U.S.A. has rebuilt Vietnam."

Reconstruction aid promised by Nixon and Kissinger
to Vietnam in 1973 has not been appropriated by Congress,
and no aid has been given. Since 1973, the Vietnamese continue
to link the issue of aid to that of the American POWs,
although the U.S. continues to insist it is a separate, humanitarian issue.

Tragically, thousands of reports continue to flow in regarding the Americans still prisoner,
missing or unaccounted for. Some of them specifically refer to an American by name and location,
yet no solution for bringing these men home has been found.

Those of us who remember that talks between nations can be tied up
indefinitely over the shape of the negotiating table
wonder how long our captive servicemen will be able to endure.

1Lt. John L. Ryder graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1968.

This is where Air Force 1Lt. John L. Ryder's plane went down.


The VietNam Veterans' Memorial Wall Page
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