Valor Friday

| November 29, 2019


Today’s Valor Friday goes to Gunners Mate Second Class Patrick O. Ford, and his actions as a Riverine Patrol Boat crewman during the Viet Nam conflict. Sadly, his Navy Cross was awarded posthumously.

Ford was born in San Francisco, California, on May 2, 1942. At the age of 15, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he attended Camelback High School and North High School.

Shortly after graduation, Ford enlisted in the Navy. He completed basic training at the Naval Training Center, San Diego, California, and received orders to report to NS Adak, Alaska. He reported aboard the destroyer USS James E. Kyes where he served as a Gunner’s Mate until the end of his enlistment in 1963.

GMG2 Ford reenlisted in 1965 and served at the NS Long Beach, California. In 1966, he was transferred to the NSA Danang, Republic of Vietnam, where he was ordered to report aboard USS George K. MacKenzie. Following completion of his tour aboard MacKenzie, Ford was subsequently transferred to USS Henderson where he remained until the end of his second enlistment in 1967.

Later that year Ford reenlisted for the second time at the Naval Receiving Station, San Francisco, California. He was ordered to the NAB Coronado, California for River Patrol Craft Training. Following completion of training in 1968, GMG2 Ford was directed to report to the NSA Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. He was assigned to Task Force 116, River Squadron 5, River Section 535 in 1968.

For the next five months, he served as a patrol river boat sailor, monitoring the traffic of the many rivers and coastal waterways of the area. On June 21, 1968, GMG2 Ford was serving as the aft machine-gunner aboard Patrol River Boat 750 as part of a two-boat patrol operating in the upper My Tho River near the town of Cái Bè. The boats were maneuvering down the river when they spotted a sampan fleeing into a nearby canal.

The two patrol boats gave chase and captured the sampan one hundred meters further up the canal. As the patrol boat returned to the river with the captured sampan in tow, it was ambushed by a Viet Cong patrol that unleashed an overwhelming barrage of heavy machine-gunfire and rockets.

Navy Cross

GM2 Fords Citation.

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Gunner’s Mate Second Class Patrick Osborne Ford (NSN: 5347843), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 21 June 1968 while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against the communist insurgent (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. Petty Officer Ford was serving as a machine gunner on River Patrol Boat SEVEN HUNDRED-FIFTY (PBR-750), River Section 535, River Squadron FIVE, Task Force 116 (TF-116), which was ambushed during a combat patrol by a Viet Cong force using rockets and heavy machine guns. The enemy rocket fire disabled his craft and started a fire on board, causing the PBR to go out of control and head for the shore line directly in front of the enemy firing positions. Although seriously wounded, Petty Officer Ford returned a continuous volume of fire into the Viet Cong positions. Realizing that his boat was out of control, and in the face of point-blank hostile fire, he assisted three of his more seriously wounded shipmates from the PBR into the water. Only after insuring that all the surviving crew members had left the boat did Petty Officer Ford give any thought to his own safety. He was the last man to leave the boat. As a result of his heroic actions and fearless devotion to duty, Petty Officer Ford saved the lives of two of his shipmates, gallantly sacrificing his own in doing so. His extraordinary heroism under fire was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Hand Salute. Ready, Two!

Ref. Wiki, Hall of Valor

Category: Navy, The Warrior Code, Valor, Viet Nam

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    BZ GMG2 Patrick Ford! “…no greater love..” “…that such men lived.” Gun Salute…Fire by the piece from right to left…Commence firing!

    I guess the heroic exploits of this Warrior is where Lurch Skeery got his tales of embellished derring do.

    Thanks ‘Ed

  2. David says:

    Appropriately, I read that Elizabeth Warren has introduced a bill to strip the Medals of Honor from Wounded Knee soldiers. I give it about a 1/1024 chance of being enacted.

  3. Wilted Willy says:

    Stories such as this are why I get so pissed off of my pos brother claiming such medals and a Purple Heart on top of that when this pos has never seen a day in combat!! You really have a big chance of being wounded or even killed while sitting in a nice office making false teeth!!
    Eat Shit and Die David E. Shrum! You will soon be in prison again!!!