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Terry Lanier Alford was a Cheif Warrant Officer in the United States Army when he went Missing in Action in South Vietnam on 04 November 1969. Alford was born on 22 October 1947, and his home city of record is Pasadena, Texas.



The Incident

On 04 November 1969, WO Terry L. Alford, aircraft commander; WO1 Jim R. Cavender, pilot; SP4 John A. Ware, crew chief; and SP4 James R. Klimo, door gunner; were flying a series of combat support missions in a UH1H helicopter (serial #67-19512) in South Vietnam.

WO Alford was returning to his base at Nha Trang from Duc Lap at about 1920 hours when he made his last known radio contact with the 48th Aviation Company Operations at Ninh Hoa. Either the pilot or aircraft commander gave his approximate location as Duc My Pass, and stated he was in the clouds and instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Shortly afterwards, the controller at Ninh Hoa heard a radio transmission that WO1 Alford was in trouble. The pilot reported, inexplicably, that the helicopter was flying upside down.

The Defense Department has told family members that the helicopter was on a secondary mission heading toward a buffer zone between Cambodia and South Vietnam, an area in the Central Highlands the helicopter was in by mistake. The helicopter is not believed to have been shot at. Search efforts were conducted for six consecutive days, but nothing was found.

According to the Defense Department, one crew member's body was recovered at a later time, but no remains were ever found that could be identified as Alford, Klimo, Ware or Cavender. The four crew members were not among the prisoners of war that were released in 1973. High ranking officials admit their dismay that "hundreds" of suspected American prisoners of war did not return. Klimo's sister has identified her brother as one of the prisoners of war pictured in a Vietnamese propaganda leaflet.


Biographical and incident of loss information was obtained from either POW/NET and/or Task Force Omega, Inc (unless otherwise noted). Additional information may be found via remembrances at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund or The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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