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Charles J. Ramsay was born June 8, 1932. Although born in New Jersey, he had not resided there since leaving Seton Hall High School prior to graduation to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps, fulfilling a long held childhood dream of becoming a US Marine.
Following completion of boot camp training, he was sent to Korea during the armed conflict. Subsequently, he completed the necessary credits required for a high school diploma and was selected for admission to Officers Candidate School where, upon completion of intense training, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
In the ensuing years, he served two tours in Vietnam as an officer and managed to complete college credits toward a teaching degree, which was the profession he intended to pursue after his last Vietnam assignment. However, he was placed in a missing in action status on January 21, 1968 when his aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam.
His wife, seven children, a brother and a sister survive Lieutenant Colonel Ramsay. His parents died during the period of his missing in action status.
Known to his fellow Marines, friends and family as a decisive, dedicated, determined Marine, he possessed a sense of fairness and humor that inspired all who knew him. Although deeply involved with his duties as a Marine, Ramsay enjoyed participating in football, was an excellent swimmer who received several trophies for his proficiency, and enjoyed sketching.
Among the many medals and ribbons awarded to him for his service are the Distinguished Flying Cross, nine Air Medals and two Purple Hearts.
Written by Lorraine Ramsay, Wife, May 7, 1999
Ramsey's remains were repatriated on January 1, 1998 and positively identified on July 19, 2001.
Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
On January 21st, 1968, while serving with the HQ/Battalion: 3rd Marine Division (“Catkillers, 220th Recon Aviation Company), WO Ramsay departed the Hue/Phu airfield on a combat support mission over the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and his aircraft was shot down. The aircraft was directing naval gunfire on an active anti-aircraft site when radio contact was lost. Just prior to radio failure, WO Ramsay, the pilot, reported their aircraft had been hit. A Forward Air Controller on station conducted a search for several hours without locating the crash site or making contact with the crew.
Captain Ramsay was listed as missing in action on January 21, 1968. The remains were brought to the United States on January 1, 1998 and were officially identified using DNA sampling on July 19, 2001.
On January 21, 1968, an O1D aircraft (tail #57-2930) from “Catkillers” (220th Recon Aviation Company) departed the Hue/Phu Bai airfield on a combat support mission (the Marines describe the mission as an “NGF mission over North Vietnam”) over the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The crew of the aircraft consisted of U.S. Army WO1 William A. Kimsey Jr., pilot; and U.S. Marine Capt. Charles J. Ramsey, aerial observer.
The aircraft was directing Naval gunfire on an active anti-aircraft site when radio contact was lost. Just prior to radio failure, WO Kimsey reported that their aircraft had been hit. A Forward Air Controller (FAC) on station conducted a search for several hours without locating the crash site or making contact with the crew.
Defense Department records list a slight variance in latitude and longitude location of loss for Kimsey and Ramsay, but the U.S. Army confirms that both men were last known to be at grid coordinates YD230810, and that there is no reason to suspect either of the crew bailed out.
Bill Kimsey had been 21 for two weeks when his O1D aircraft was shot down just into North Vietnam near the DMZ. Ramsey was an “old man” of 35. There has been no further word of him or of Charles Ramsay.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard