Lloyd C. Ward

Memorial Location


  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Served:  Enlisted January, 1952 – October, 1955; Commissioned October, 1955 – May, 1973
  • KC-135 Navigator
  • Korean War, Cold War, and Vietnam War
  • Awarded: Air Medal,  National Defense Service Medal, AF  Outstanding Unit Award (2), Vietnam Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, AF Reserve Medal, AF Commendation Medal, Small Arms Expert Ribbon

A few months after graduation from high school, Lloyd decided to join the Air Force from the small town of Rochester, WI.  After completing the radio maintenance course, he awaited an assignment as an instructor in airborne radio maintenance school.  That assignment kept being postponed, so he decided to apply for the aviation cadet program which did not require a college degree.  In October, 1955 he was commissioned and received his first assignment as a navigator on a KC-97 refueling tanker at Forbes AFB, KS.  He transitioned into the KC-135 and spent many years in the Strategic Air Command “sitting on alert” during the Cold War waiting for the Soviets to initiate unfriendly operations. Though it included many times of temporary duty abroad, for both bombers and tankers it was a deterrent for the safety of the United States.

During a tour at K.I. Sawyer, MI, in the 1960’s, Lloyd flew ARC Light/Young Tiger missions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, for which he received the Air Medal.  Later he transitioned from crew duty into Operations Plans and was assigned to Eielson AFB, AK for a few years doing planning of EWO missions for the tanker task force.  From there he transferred to Beale AFB, CA and did EWO planning for the Blackbird SR-71 Mach 3 reconnaissance airplane. This included many TDY’s to Okinawa. He retired in 1973 as a Lt. Col. with over 21 years in the Air Force.  He then pursued a career in computer programming, which had interested him while working with the SR-71.

Lloyd and the love of his life Mary, were married for 64 years until her death June 27, 2019. He currently resides in Minneapolis, MN.  Their oldest son, Scott, is a retired businessman and their other son, Blake, is a retired Navy Commander.  Each of the boys have two children.