Rainford Tiffin (1966/07/21)

As William Tiffin lay dying, the fate of his son Ray remained unknown.

Rainford "Ray" Tiffin was born on March 4, 1938, in San Francisco, California, to William and Alice Tiffin. In addition to Ray, the Tiffin family included an older son, William. Ray grew up in a home on Anderson Street in Santa Cruz, attended a nearby elementary and junior high school and in 1952, entered Santa Cruz High School. In addition to his studies and student activities, he worked at a local Chevron service station. Upon graduation from high school Tiffin began a two-year program at Monterey Peninsula College.

In 1961 Rainford Tiffin was accepted into the US Air Force air cadet program and was sent to Webb Air Force Base in Big Springs, Texas, where he began pilot training. After graduating, he was awarded his wings and commissioned a second lieutenant.

While stationed at Luke AFB in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1962, Ray married Judith Woodley. Following additional training, he was assigned to the US airbase at Itazuki Japan, and began ferrying jets from the US to the Far East. Judith joined him and it was at this location that their two sons were born.

In 1965, as a member of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Tiffin was placed on temporary duty at the Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base. Korat, located approximately 157 miles northeast of Bangkok, became his home for the next year. During that period, his squadron flew strikes against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong installations.

While flying a strike on the La Banh POL storage site, ten miles north of Cho Ngoc, Yen Bai, in North Vietnam, on July 21, 1966, Captain Rainford Tiffin's plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Other planes accompanying him on the mission reported that they did not observe an ejection from his plane before it crashed near the village of Cam Nhan. Rainford Tiffin was initially classified as MIA/POW and later promoted to the rank of Major.

With the absence of his body or prisoner of war status by the North Vietnamese, Tiffin was re-classified as killed in action in 1973. His remains have never been recovered.

(CBR; VVMW; Polk's Santa Cruz Directory 1957, 1956 Santa Cruz HS, Cardinal Yearbook, Ejection History.org.uk The Year 1966; Personal remembrances of Judith Tiffin Alpers, May 5, 2009 (Tiffin's widow); SCSn December 31, 1971; http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/PROJECT/YEAR_Pages/1966jul-sep.htm, [16 September 2008] WIKI, Royal Thai Air Base;)

Creator: Nelson, Robert L.
Source: Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010.
Date: Undated
Type: OBIT
Coverage: 1960s
Rights: Reproduced by permission of Robert L. Nelson and The Museum of Art & History.
Identifier: RO-TIFFIN


Nelson, Robert L. “Rainford Tiffin (1966/07/21).” Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010. SCPL Local History. https://history.santacruzpl.org/omeka/items/show/4865. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.