TSGT Fredrick Lamar Thrower
TSGT Fredrick Lamar Thrower was one among four men who lost their lives in the greatest single combat loss of Combat Controllers on 4 September 1967. The element of CCT was a member of the 8th Aerial Port Squadron out of Bien Hoa, Vietnam and was under the leadership of MSGT Charles A. Paradise. The CCT element was being transported on a mission aboard an Air Commando C-123 K Provider #54-0621. Their mission was to relieve another 4 man CCT element that was providing support for an Army Special Forces Team at a remote airstrip near Dong Hoi, South Vietnam. The aircraft did not arrive at the scheduled destination. Search and rescue efforts eventually located the downed aircraft. While the exact cause of the crash of the C-123 is unknown (either mechanical failure or enemy fire) it is widely accepted by many who investigated the crash that it was a result of enemy anti-aircraft fire since the cockpit had AAA caliber holes and no “may-day” call issued. All aboard were KIA. Lost were MSGT Charles Paradise, TSGT Fredrick Thrower, A1C Gerald Gauthier, and A1C William Jerkins. TSGT Fredrick Thrower was a last minute replacement to the mission to aid in Air Traffic Control procedures. He did not originally begin his career as a CCT, his roots in the Air Force started as an Air Traffic Controller and as an Instructor at Keesler. Another notable mission was TSGT Thrower’s control of the drop zone for Operation Junction City, the only paratrooper launch during the Vietnam War which landed 845 paratroopers behind enemy lines. TSGT Thrower was posthumously promoted and is buried at Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, TX. The picture below was found in an album from Sgt Mac’s Bar.
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