TSgt Raymond F. Leftwich was killed in action 9 March 1967, when the EC-47 aircraft tail number 43-49201 call-sign TIDE 86 on which he was serving as an Airborne Morse Systems Operator, crashed in South Vietnam.
TSgt Leftwich was born 20 September 1925, in Treece, Kansas.
He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1942 and served in the Central Pacific Theater in World War II as a Navy radio operator. His tours included action in the Solomons, Leyte, Luzon, and Ryukyu Islands. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in December 1946 and served three years before going into the Air Force Reserve. After a short break in service, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1954 and was stationed at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, where he attended Morse code training.
TSgt Leftwich’s assignments included the 6987th Radio Group Mobile Squadron, Shu Lin Kou AS, Taiwan and 6948th Security Squadron Mobile, Goodfellow AFB, Texas. In October 1966 he was reassigned to Det 1, 6994th Security Squadron, Nha Trang AB, Vietnam.
TSgt Leftwich’s awards and decorations include the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two bronze service stars, World War II Victory Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Air Medal. TSgt Leftwich was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart posthumously.
On 29 June 1984, Dormitory 2013, on “Security Hill” Kelly AFB, Texas, was dedicated “Leftwich Dormitory” to honor TSgt Leftwich’s ultimate sacrifice for his country.
TSGT Leftwich is interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. His name is engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on Panel 16E, line 46.