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  • Date of Birth:12/23/1947
  • Date of Casualty:6/9/1970
  • Home of Record:DAVENPORT
  • County of Record:SCOTT COUNTY
  • State:IA
  • Branch of Service:ARMY
  • Rank:SP5
  • Panel/Row:9W, 35
  • Casualty Province:THUA THIEN


  • Date of Birth:12/18/1950
  • Date of Casualty:6/9/1970
  • Home of Record:PUEBLO
  • County of Record:PUEBLO COUNTY
  • State:CO
  • Branch of Service:ARMY
  • Rank:SP5
  • Panel/Row: 9W, 35
  • Casualty Province:BINH DINH


is honored on Panel 9W, Row 35 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance


  • I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

    Posted on 7/5/16 - by Dennis Wriston
    Captain John Leslie Ryder, Served with the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron, 504th Tactical Air Support Group, 7th Air Force.
  • In Memory of Many, In Honor of All

    Posted on 6/1/16 - by Curt Carter
    Dear Captain Ryder, sir

    Remembering you and those you served with during the observance of this Memorial Day, on May 30, 2016. You are not and will not be forgotten. May America always stand, and may it stand for the freedom that you defended.

    With respect, Sir

  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 6/1/16 - by Curt Carter
    Dear Captain John Leslie Ryder, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • I have your bracelet, too

    Posted on 3/8/16 - by Leslie Grabowski
    I still have your POW/MIA bracelet, and I am donating it to The Palm Springs Air Museum's Vietnam POW/MIA Bracelet Display.

    I Googled your name today, and it was eerie to see that your middle name was Leslie, which is my first name. I was sad to see that you did not make it back from the war. I live outside DC, so I will definitely find your name on the Vietnam Memorial, which I have visited several times.

    RIP. Lt Ryder, and thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice.
  • Today I recieved your bracelet

    Posted on 1/28/16 - by
    CPT John Leslie Ryder...Gone but Never Forgotten. Today I received your bracelet from a very thoughtful and kind Vietnam Veteran. I work at the Chisholm Post Office and this veteran noticed I wear a KIA bracelet for my brother, SPC George W. Cauley who lost his life in Afghanistan 9 Oct 2009. (rest in peace brother). I also noticed he wore a KIA bracelet for his brother that he lost in Vietnam. We got to talking and he told me about CPT John Leslie Ryder who was from Chisholm, MN and is MIA. I will proudly wear both bracelets in remembrance of both of these brave Heroes and the sacrifices they gave. God Bless and I will Never Forget.
  • MIA Bracelet

    Posted on 1/27/16 - by Carol
    I too wore your bracelet a long time ago. I sill have it and think of you often. I wear it on occasion. Now that I know your birthday, I'll definitely wear it then. I was against the war, but never those who served. Peace to you and your family.

    Posted on 6/9/14 - by JERRY SANDWISCH WOOD CTY.OHIO NAM VET 1969-70 ARMY 173rd ABN BDE
  • Final Mission of 1LT John L. Ryder

    Posted on 5/31/14 - by
    Air Force 1LT John L. Ryder was the pilot of an O-1F spotter aircraft on which Special Forces Operations Officer CAPT Barry W. Hilbrich was serving as observer. The two departed Pleiku Airbase on a visual reconnaissance mission on June 9, 1970 south of Ben Het in South Vietnam with an ultimate destination of Camp Dak Saeng. The aircraft was located just north of Pleiku and was in radio contact with the tactical air control center. Their next scheduled radio contact was at 1327 hours, but no further communication was established. Ryder and Hilbrich were reported missing. No immediate visual search could be initiated because of incliment weather, and an electronic search conducted produced no trace of the aircraft of the crew. During the period of June 10-19 an extensive search was carried out extending from Pleiku north to the I Corps boundary and west of the Cambodian border, with no sightings of either aircraft or its two officers. The two were officially classified Missing In Action. [Taken from]
  • MIA bracelet for John Ryder

    Posted on 3/27/14 - by Charlotte
    While going through an old jewlry box I came upon the silver metal bracelet I had misplaced many years ago bearing the name of Lt. John Ryder. I wore that bracelet for years and often wondered of his fate. Upon seeing it I was now able to search with the help of the internet. I was hoping the information would have been: found or released. I was so sorry to hear he was never located and his family was unable to put him to rest. I had felt some connection all those years ago, as I am sure many of the wearers of these bracelet felt, I was surprised to see his date of birth was 3 days before mine. Where ever he is, my he rest in peace.
  • We Remember

    Posted on 1/3/13 - by Robert Sage

    John has a military marker in his memory at USAF Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs,CO.

  • If I should die...remembrances for CAPT. John Leslie RYDER, USAF...who made the ultimate sacrifice!!

    Posted on 6/12/11 - by
    If I should die, and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, anbd weep...for MY sake, turn again to life, and smile...Nerving thy heart, and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine...Complete these dear, unfinished tasks of mine...and I, perchance, may therein comfort you.
  • Photo

    Posted on 4/12/10
  • photo

    Posted on 9/29/09
  • He is remembered

    Posted on 7/27/04 - by Richard Holland
    He is remembered
  • He is remembered

    Posted on 7/27/04 - by Richard Holland
    John L. Ryder was a classmate of mine, graduating in 1964 from Chisholm High School, Chisholm, MN.
  • Lest we forget

    Posted on 3/23/03 - by Marjorie Ballentine
    I still have the bracelet for John. Have never forgotten him. My husband was also in Viet Nam, (Air Force) and I will never forget the way our young men were treated. They and their families got absolutely no support. It was a horrible time and these young, strong men were doing their duty, dying for it and much worse. We still see the effects today in those same men. Please, as we go to war again, let us pray and support these men and their families.

    Sincerely, Marjorie Ballentine
  • Last Call?

    Posted on 2/23/03 - by J. Ferron
    I believe I was one of the last people to talk to John. He and I were checking out of the FAC shack together at Pleiku. He was going west and I was going north. We were both solo, flying our own small Cessna's. After takeoff I heard him check in with a call that he was entering a hot area. I called him and wished him luck and offered to have a burger with him again soon. He acknowledged. Neither of us returned to Pleiku that day but I landed at my destination, John was never seen again. That day there were thunderstorms in the area and through some mix-up no one missed the fact that John was overdue coming back into the base. By the time it was discovered he was not in, the storms prevented a search and rescue.
    John was a fun, clever and eager guy. At the Academy he was like many of us, a tough competitor in sports and ready to do what the country needed.
    Rumors had it that a grenade in John's plane got hit and exploded. The search area was too large to be effective, too. Those who knew him pray for him. He was too young and too good.
  • Not Forgotten

    Posted on 2/22/03 - by Candace Lokey
    I have not forgotten you. I chair the Adoption Committee for The National League of Families of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action in Southeast Asia. We will always remember the 1,889 Americans still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia and the thousands of others that lost their lives. We will not stop our efforts until all of you are home where you belong.

    We need to reach the next generation so that they will carry on when our generation is no longer able. To do so, we are attempting to locate photographs of all the missing. If you are reading this remembrance and have a photo and/or memory of this missing American that you would like to share for our project, please contact me at:

    Candace Lokey
    PO Box 206
    Freeport, PA 16229

    If you are not familiar with our organization, please visit our web site at :
  • U.S. Air Force Academy

    Posted on 1/28/03 - by USAFA AOG
    Photo provided by:
    United States Air Force Academy
    Association of Graduates
  • Graduation Photo

    Posted on 1/8/03 - by Bill Marvel, USAFA '69
    John is a graduate of the USAF Academy, Class of 1968. This is his senior year photograph and year book entry.

    He was reported MIA in an O-1F aircraft on June 9, 1970 in South Viet Nam. He was later declared deceased on June 2, 1976.
  • My thoughts are with you.

    Posted on 11/11/02 - by Gail Amaral
    I also have a bracelet with John's name. I have had it since 1972. I often think of him and his family.
    I never knew anything about him until the moving wall came to my area. It was such an emotional visit, finding John's name on the wall. I will never forget, Thank you John.
  • Remembering Our Lost Brother

    Posted on 9/6/02 - by Jim Meade
    "MIKE" FAC John Ryder MIA while supporting SOG Operations 9 Jun 70.
  • My First Hero

    Posted on 12/10/01 - by D Pope
    I believe it was 1972 when I first bought a bracelet with John Ryder's name on it. I wore it continuously until it wore the hair off of my arm and finally broke in two from the wear. It was personal to me and is still to this day. I watched the papers when the soldiers began to return home for his name but found out that that the small hole in my bracelet meant that John Ryder was actually MIA and chances were slim.

    Tomorrow I go to Washington, DC for the first time in more than 30 years. The only thing on my agenda other than work is the WALL. I have looked forward to this moment for years and dreaded it at the same time. Having grown up during the sixties, I remember the turmoil that our country went through during those tough years.

    What I regret the most are the parades we never held, the banners we never flew, the acknowledgement these young men never received.

    I graduated from high school the day before the date on the bracelet so there will always be a reminder for me. On this day, I would like to thank John Ryder's family and friends for his service and his sacrifice. May God bless you all.
  • Hall Of Heroes - John Leslie Ryder

    Posted on 8/22/99 - by Timothy Jay Beeck, Sr.
    I am a member of Operation Just Cause and have 'adopted' John Leslie Ryder. On his behalf, I have built a remembrance page.

    I also write letters to government officials asking what they are doing to secure the return of our missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

    You may view my page for John Leslie Ryder at:

    Thank You,

    Timothy Jay Beeck, Sr.

The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit