Major General Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Public Service Award
Robert “Bob” Lloyd Ford
Captain Robert “Bob” Lloyd Ford, US Army, was born 4 August 1944 and raised in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma Army ROTC program in 1966 followed by flight school. A week before graduation, a General asked him to go to the Aircraft Officer Maintenance Course and his reply was “Sir, I want to go to Vietnam, serve my country, and fly in combat.”
In July 1967, three weeks after graduation, 1st Lieutenant Ford arrived in Vietnam and was assigned to the 282nd Air Assault Company in DaNang. In September 1967, he assumed command of the 282nd’s Hue Detachment and would fly direct support missions for MACV, SF, LRRP, Ranger, and Hac Bao units close to the DMZ and Laos. He flew three resupply missions into the besieged outpost at Huong Hoa on 21 January 1968, the beginning of the siege of Khe Sahn, and ten days later, during the Tet Offensive, he and his unit helped defend the MACV Headquarters in Hue against a three-day ground attack. Ford is recognized for his heroic Vietnam combat helicopter service of over 1,000 missions. For his service he received the Bronze Star Medal and Air Medal with 12 Oak Leaf Clusters, one with “V” device for Valor.
Upon leaving the military in 1969, he became vice-chairman of the Ford Family Shawnee Mills facility in Okeene, Oklahoma. Ford’s largesse has enormously benefitted the children and the town in the form of funded college educations and student expenses for needy families; computers in schools; donated bicycles for Okeene’s annual Christmas Santa drawing; and upkeep of Okeene’s public pool. He provides the Veterans Day speakers brought to the local schools on Veterans Day; he speaks at civic clubs, churches, schools, and on radio to provide positive and patriotic messages on what it means to serve with HONOR. He truly wants to ensure a better future for the youth.
Ford has left his mark in his autobiography, Black Cat 2-1, documenting his “give back” legacy. The Vietnam Veterans of Oklahoma are extremely grateful for his funding and procuring two combat veteran UH 1H helicopters, with one on display at the Woodlands Veterans Park in Shawnee and the other inside the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.
Captain Ford is a worthy recipient of the “Major General Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Public Service Award” for exemplary public and local community service, going above and beyond in support of Oklahoma’s Veterans and his community.