Ferguson, Walter Lee, SMSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Senior Master Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
111X0-Defensive Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1971-1972, 111X0, 72nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy
Service Years
1951 - 1972
Enlisted Collar Insignia
Senior Master Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

30 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SMSgt James E. Franklin to remember Ferguson, Walter Lee, SMSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Andersen AFB, Guam

Casualty Date
Dec 18, 1972
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01W 094

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aircrew Enlisted (Chief)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
67th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy	44th Bombardment Wing, Medium,91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Medium, Photographic340th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
72nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy
  1952-1953, 67th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1952-1953, 44th Bombardment Wing, Medium,
  1954-1958, 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Medium, Photographic
  1970-1972, 111X0, 340th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1971-1972, 111X0, 72nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1952-1953 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
  1965-1973 Operation Arc Light
  1972-1972 Vietnam Cease-fire Campaign (1972-73)/Operation Linebacker II
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-29 Superfortress  B-52 Stratofortress (Buff)  
  1951-1953, B-29 Superfortress
  1970-1972, B-52 Stratofortress (Buff)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
The "Christmas bombing" of North Vietnam began on the night of 18/19 Dec 1972 with a total of 129 B-52 bombers directed against a number of high-value targets in and around Hanoi. The operation consisted of three waves of heavy bombers spaced several hours apart. B-52G tail number 58-0201 (340th Bomb Sqd, 72nd Strat Wing) was in the first wave and was targeted against the Yen Vien railway yard 2 miles north of Hanoi but was struck by two SA-2 surface-to-air missiles before bomb release. Three of the crewmen were able to escape the burning aircraft, but three were not:

    • LtCol Donald L. Rissi, Collinsville, IL

    • Capt Robert J. Thomas, Miami, FL

    • SMSgt Walter L. Ferguson, Detroit, MI

Their remains were repatriated on 23 August 1978.

The remaining three crewman were captured and released with the other American POWs in early 1973. They were Major Richard E. Johnson, Captain Robert G. Certain, and Captain Richard T. Simpson.

His Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Citation reads:

Senior Master Sergeant Walter L. Ferguson distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as a Fire Control Operator near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 18 December 1972. On that date, as a crew member of a B-52 engaged in one of the largest conventional bombing raids ever amassed in the recent history of aerial warfare, Sergeant Ferguson received significant battle damage to his aircraft as the result of extremely heavy hostile fire. Sergeant Ferguson and his crew were in quest of massed supplies, communications equipment, and transportation lines in order to eliminate the aggressor's capacity to initiate an offensive. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Ferguson in the dedication of his service to his country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


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