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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Rolling Thunder to Hold a Ceremony for Fort Thomas Native

Captain Joseph Shaw Ross

On Saturday August 3rd at 2:00 p.m., Rolling Thunder KY 5 will lay a wreath in a short ceremony to remember Captain Ross, a Fort Thomas native, at the Boone County Veterans and POW☆ MIA Memorial.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. Located at 90 Alexandria Pike. 


Captain Joseph Ross USAF
389th Tactical Fighter Squadron — 366th Tactical Fighter Wing — 7th Air Force

Born January 26, 1943 in Fort Thomas, Kentucky
Graduate of Highlands High School — Class of 1961
Graduated from the United States Air Force Academy — Class of 1966
Date last seen: August 1, 1968 in Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam
Also missing: Colonel William J. Thompson from Houston, Texas

“As a community we can never forget about the ones we left behind on the battlefield. Our primary mission at Rolling Thunder is to remember. We are honored that we have the opportunity to bring awareness to the public so they know we will never forget the sacrifice,” said Todd Matonich, a United States Navy Veteran and Board Member at Rolling Thunder ® , Inc. Kentucky 5.

On August 1, 1968, Colonel Thompson, aircraft commander, and Captain Joseph Ross, pilot compromised the crew of a McDonnell F4D Phantom jet, call sign "Coach 1", that was the lead aircraft in a flight of two. The flight departed DaNang Airbase, South Vietnam on a night armed reconnaissance mission over Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam.

Enrollee to their assigned area, they were diverted by command to check out suspected truck traffic in the vicinity of their original target. Coach 1 dropped several sets of illumination flares that allowed them to confirm North Vietnamese truck traffic.


At 0310 house, Colonel Thompson told Coach 2, their wingman, to circle the area while he made a bombing pass on the trucks. As the wingman circled the area, he noted a large explosion within several hundred feet of the moving targets. The crew of Coach 2 immediately attempted to establish contact with Coach 1, but was unable to do so. In the darkness, the crew of Coach 2 saw no parachutes and heard no emergency beepers.

At daybreak an airborne command post monitored emergency electronic signals seemingly coming from the crash site. Further search efforts could not establish the whereabouts or source of those signals. Likewise, they found no trace of the aircraft's wreckage. Search and rescue efforts were terminated on August 6 and both William Thompson and Joseph Ross were listed as "Missing in Action".

Colonel Thompson and Captain Ross are two of the 1588 Servicemen that remain missing from the Vietnam War today.


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