(Periodically, the Gazette will publish biographical sketches of Middleboro’s war casualties. This is intended to remember the sacrifices of all veterans and those who gave their lives in service to our country.)
Hubert Bradford Loheed was born in Brockton, Ma. On October 15, 1924, the son of Arthur I. and Myrtle G. Loheed. His family moved from Brockton to Pleasant Street in Middleboro. Hubert attended Middleboro Memorial High School where he graduated with the class of 1942.
After graduation, he attended for a year, the Randall School, a preparatory academy in Washington, D.C. Following his education at the preparatory, he spent a year attending the Teachers’ College at Bridgewater, MA.
Later, he was nominated as the principal 1944 candidate for a vacancy to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis by Congressman Charles L. Gifford of the Ninth Congressional District of Massachusetts.
It was on April 14, 1951, when Hubert B. Loheed received his United States Navy commission as a Lieutenant Junior Grade. As Ensign he also was awarded his golden Navy wings as a Naval Aviator, while stationed at the Naval Air Basic Training Command at Pensacola, Florida.
A letter, at the time, to Hubert’s parents from F.M. Hughes, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Chief of the Air Training Command, said in part: “Today your son, Ensign Hubert B. Loheed, USN, received his designation as a Naval Aviator at a ceremony here. The United States Navy is proud to add Hubert’s name to the illustrious list of Naval Aviators. For his fine achievement, I send the traditional Navy signal “Well Done.”
Hubert became a career Naval flying officer and subsequently during the Vietnam War was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61). He was the Executive Officer for a squadron of A-4C Skyhawks. Later, he became the Commander of Attack Squadron-146, which was assigned missions around and over North Vietnam.
It was while leading a flight of four aircraft from the carrier deck on February 1, 1966, when he was shot down by ground fire over North Vietnam.
He was not recovered and was listed as “missing in action.” Finally, nine years later, in July 1975 his status was listed as “presumed dead.” While he was “missing” Hubert was promoted to Captain (O6).
His remains were identified on August 23, 1994 and were returned to the states for burial with full military honors in November of 1994. An Associate Press newspaper photo headlined “Middleboro MIA comes Home” showed a United States Navy Honor Guard escorting his casket off and aircraft at Travis Air Force Base in California.
Hubert Bradford Loheed is remembered here at the Middleboro Veterans Memorial Park in two locations. The separate Vietnam War Casualty stone and the park’s Central Casualty stone in the Vietnam section holds his name. In Washington, D.C. his name can be found on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on panel 04E-line 130.