KETRON, CLOVIS DAVID ROBERT, First Lieutenant, # 0-818068, USAAF

 

Clovis D. R. Ketron was born on 21 October 1919 in Stamford, Jones Co., Texas, to William David “Willie” Ketron (1899-1969) (OK) and Bennie Mae (Cauthen) Ketron (1900-1977). Siblings included Peggy Darline (Ketron) Wray (1925-2007), Bobby Ward Ketron (1928-2000), Nancy Helene (Ketron) Cobb (1933-####), and Dr. Gary Don Ketron (1938-2008). He was married to Lula Fay (McPherson) Hisey nee Ketron (1920-2000).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 1 July 1941, resided at 1924 13th St., Lubbock, Texas, working for himself, and described himself as 5’6”, 122 lbs, with blond hair and blue eyes. He completed flight school and advance flight schools to pilot the B-25 Mitchell. He was multi-engine rated. He earned his commission and pilot wings. After training, he was sent overseas to India. In India, he was assigned to fly on a B-25 in search of the two missing crews and his B-25 Mitchell crashed in India. Two of five B-25s departed the airfield at Panagarh, India, at 0830 hours, 17 October 1945, for Bangalore, India, to be later scrapped. B-25, # 43-4955, was located, crashed 13 miles from Udayagiri, India. On 23 October 1945, a jeep and 3 officers (Chaplain Capt. Claude T. Ennis, 1stLt Robert Clark, Operations Officer, and 1stLt Jack L. McAnally, Provost Marshal) were sent by C-47 to Vizigapatam, India, for a ground investigation. The aircraft and fragments of the crew but positive identification were made. The remains were given a Christian burial in the Mallikpodi Christian cemetery. This MACR holds numerous pages of Q&A of several witnesses under oath with investigators who recommended disciplinary actions against two officers, including a USAAF Colonel, Group Commander, for dereliction of duty for failing to ensure the aircraft were sufficiently maintained and prepared for flight and manned with sufficient and qualified USAAF personnel, leading the aircraft aloft to be vulnerable to navigational and pilot errors and resulted in crashes and deaths. His B-25 crashed during the search. After recovery from the American military cemetery at Barrackpore, India, the remains of crew members (Ketron, Ryle, & Weston) were buried in a group ceremony and burial in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 9 November 1949 (Sec. 79, Grave 501).

 

His brother, Dr. Gary Don Ketron, born 2 September 1938, graduated from Tulane Medical School, served in the U.S. Navy, Lieutenant, a surgeon at the Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego, CA, and served on the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam war. He was accepted back on active duty in 1995 and was a vascular surgeon at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He died 22 December 2008 and is buried in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California. The supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), formerly CVA-63, was the second naval ship named after Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the site of the Wright brothers' first powered airplane flight. Kitty Hawk was both the first and last active ship of her class, and the last oil-fired aircraft carrier in service with the United States Navy. Kitty Hawk overhauled in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, then trained along the western seaboard. She sailed from San Diego on 19 October 1965, for Hawaii thence to Subic Bay, Philippines, where she prepared for combat operations off the coast of Vietnam. Kitty Hawk was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for exceptionally meritorious and heroic service from 23 December 1967 to 1 June 1968, which included the Tet Offensive, while participating in combat operations in Southeast Asia, and the Navy Unit Meritorious Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service from 15 January 1969 to 27 August 1969 while participating in combat operations in Southeast Asia and contingency operations in Northeast Asia. Both awards noted that the officers and men of the Kitty Hawk displayed undaunted spirit, courage, professionalism and dedication to maintain their ship as a fighting unit under the most arduous operating conditions to enable her pilots to destroy vital military targets in North Vietnam despite intense opposition and extremely adverse weather conditions.