GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Goodfellow honored Tech. Sgt. Raymond Leftwich at the Taylor Chapel and outside the building that bears his name, Leftwich Hall, October 23.
Rhonda Leftwich, Raymond’s daughter, attended the memorial ceremony to share her father’s memories and his dedication to the United States military.
“My dad is my hero and my angel,” said Rhonda. “He was this 6-foot, 5-inch man that would walk through the door in the evening with the Sun creating a halo behind him. He was very passionate about his family, whether related through blood or by the military. We always felt loved.”
Raymond was born in Kansas, 1925 and enlisted into the Navy during WWII as a radio operator. After the war, he served in the Army Air Corps where he re-enlisted into the Air Force in 1945. In the early 1960’s, he began training at Goodfellow as a Morse code intercept specialist. After his training, he deployed to Vietnam and worked on an EC-47 ARDF flying missions out of Nha Trang Air Base, Vietnam.
According to ec47.com, during and after the Tet offensive, EC-47 ARDF support continued for both ongoing and newly initiated operations. EC-47 crews from Nha Trang AB flew 918 missions, intercepting 6,489 radio transmissions.
On March 9, 1967, Raymond was flying on a mission over Vietnam when enemy forces shot down his aircraft. All seven crewmembers aboard were lost. Raymond is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Eighteen years later, on July 3, 1985, Goodfellow memorialized four of its new dormitories in honor of former Goodfellow members and San Angelo natives lost in the line of duty. They named building 255 Leftwich Hall. Goodfellow also dedicated a pavilion along the troop walk as a second memorial.
“I feel honored,” said Rhonda. “My dad has finally received the respect that all of our military deserve.”
According to 17th Training Wing Base Historian, Dr. John Garrett, Goodfellow has an active memorialization program, with more than two dozen facilities named in honor of individuals closely associated with Goodfellow, the 17th TRW or San Angelo and local communities.
“It’s our way of paying tribute and providing lasting honor to Americans with records of outstanding and honorable service to our nation,” said Garrett.