Linn County

Lt. Russell Ford


Special to The Gazette.
RANDOLPH FIELD, Texas—Hundreds of Uncle Sam’s new fighting pilots, ready and eager to hit the Axis, were graduated Thursday from the army air forces Gulf coast training center’s 10 advanced flying schools.

All received silver pilots’ wings and commissions as second lieutenants or flight officers.  Those commissioned second lieutenants included the following eastern Iowans:

Charles E. Moes, son of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Moes, 1619 First avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, (Ellington field), a former advertising department employe of The Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Russell R. Newell, Columbus Junction (Brooks field).

Russell R. Bulechek, Iowa City (Aloe field).

William G. Cocking, Iowa City (Lubbock field).

Russell G. Ford, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ford, 1001 Twelfth street, Marion (Blackland field).

The eastern Iowans all were graduated from Texas flying fields.  Before they get actual combat assignments they will receive additional instruction at post graduate flying schools.

Source:  The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, April 23, 1943

Lt. Russell Ford Reported Missing In European Area

Lt. Russell F. Ford, 27, army air force pilot has been reported missing in action in the European area since Jan. 11, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Ford, 1001 Twelfth street, have been advised by the War Department. 

Lt. Ford entered the service Dec. 26, 1941, and received his wings and second lieutenant commission at Waco, Texas.  He was promoted to first lieutenant after reaching England and had been awarded the Air Medal.

A younger brother, Sgt. Leighton Ford, is with the army engineers in England and the brothers met there recently.

Source:  Marion Sentinel, January 25, 1944

Lt. Russell F. Ford, 27, army air force pilot, has been reported missing in action in the European theater since Jan. 11.  He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Ford, 1001 Twelfth street, Marion.

Source:  Unknown local publication, dated January 27, 1944


First Lt. Russell G. Ford, 27, son of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Ford, 1001 Twelfth street, Marion, has been officially declared dead by the War Department.

Previously he had been listed as missing since Jan. 11, 1944, when the B-17 he was piloting crashed into the North Sea, 30 miles from land, while he was returning from a bombing mission over Germany.  He was with the Eighth air force.

Lt. Ford entered service Dec. 26, 1941. He received his wings April 22, 1943, at Blackland field, Waco, Texas, and was sent overseas Nov. 1, 1943.  He had completed nine missions over Germany, and had received the Air Medal.

Surviving, in addition to his parents, are two brothers:  Leighton Ford, who recently received his discharge after service in Europe, and Lynn Ford; and four sisters, Eleanor, Doris and Reva Ford, and Mrs. Donald Scheer, all of Marion.

Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 26, 1945

Russell G. Ford was born Sept. 16, 1916 to Benjamin Harrison and Jesse Myrtle Carver Ford. He died Jan. 11, 1944 and memorialized at the Tablets of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England and has a cenotaph in Oak Shade Cemetery, Marion, IA.

Lt. Ford served in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps 339th Bomber Squadron, 96th Bomber Group, Heavy and was MIA/FOD/KIA and awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.