Ken Cameron was born on August 9, 1928, in Berkeley, California. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy on January 5, 1950, and completed pilot training in 1951. During the Korean War, Cameron flew combat missions with Fighter Squadron 151 off the aircraft carrier USS Boxer. He entered the U.S. Naval Reserve on October 30, 1954, and returned to active duty on March 13, 1956. Between the wars, Cameron served with numerous fighter and attack squadrons in California, Washington, D.C., and Alabama. He attended U.S. Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, before joining the Replacement Air Group at NAS Lemoore, California, in early 1967. CDR Cameron began flying combat missions with Attack Squadron 76 off the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) in March 1967, and he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on May 15, 1967. After spending 1,236 days at the hands of the North Vietnamese, Capt Cameron died in captivity on October 4, 1970. His remains were returned to the United States on March 6, 1974, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
His Navy Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 18 May 1967 to 4 October 1970. Under constant pressure from the North Vietnamese in their attempt to gain military information and propaganda material, he experienced severe torture with ropes and by beatings and was kept in solitary confinement. As they persisted in their hostile treatment of him, he continued to resist by feigning sickness and refusing to eat anything but a bare minimum of food. Through those means he was successful in his attempt to keep himself unacceptable in appearance to the North Vietnamese, thus discouraging them from forcing him to meet visiting antiwar delegations for propaganda purposes. He gallantly evaded exploitation by the North Vietnamese throughout his lengthy confinement. By his exceptional courage, determination, and resourcefulness in a most difficult line of resistance, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.