From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Charles Read, Jr. '52

Date of birth: February 3, 1929

Date of death: August 24, 1968

Age: 39

Lucky Bag

From the 1952 Lucky Bag:


From Wall of Faces:

Major Charles Harold Wickliffe Read Jr. was the Pilot and 1st Lieutenant Melvin Earl Ladewig the Weapons System Officer onboard an F4D PHANTOM fighter aircraft on 24 August 1968 assigned to an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam.

As their flight was over Quang Binh Province, located about 10 miles southwest of the city of Quang Khe, a bombing run was made and afterwards their aircraft was seen as a large fireball on the ground by the pilots of the lead aircraft.

They reported no radio contact with either pilot prior to the crash, nor did they see parachutes or hear any emergency radio beeper signals to indicate that either Read or Ladewig ejected from their aircraft prior to its downing.

However, neither officer was declared dead, so the possibility existed that they may have safely exited their aircraft.

They remain to this day as being Missing In Action.

Both officers were promoted during the period they were maintained in Missing In Action status.

The Secretary of the Air Force eventually approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the two officers with Captain Ladewig on 8 November 1973 then later Colonel Read on 25 July 1978.

Their remains have still not been repatriated.


1952 Read 1.jpg

So many people have written such kind words about my dad here. Please know that they are so appreciated. As my son, Stuart is now in high school, studying AP US History, it was great to read these tributes. I many times visited the memorial in VA, when I lived there with my brother. Now, living across the country, our family does not get back to our cherished VA and FL hometowns. Hope to look at VA colleges when Stuart graduates from high school next year. All the best to friends and family who care and remember my Dad.

Make It A Great Day Everyone and Happy Holidays! Johanna JOHANNA READ, JOHANNA.ETALK99@GMAIL.COM, 12/23/15

Class of 1952

Charles is one of 50 members of the Class of 1952 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.