Ronald L. Bewley - KIA
Kentucky pilot killed in Mediterranean crash ANKARA, Turkey (AP) from the KY Courier-Journal, September 15, 1972
Two U.S. Air Force pilots, one a Kentuckian Two U.S. Air Force pilots, one a Kentuckian, were killed last Friday when their F-4 Phantom jet fighter crashed into the Mediterranean off southeast Turkey, the American embassy disclosed Wednesday. The pilots were Lt. Col. Gerald A. Cashman, 40, of Holton, Kan., and Capt. Ronald L. Bewley, 31, of Radcliff, Ky. Their families live in Torrejon, Spain, the embassy said. The plane was on a training flight from an air base at Incirlik, southeast Turkey, officials said. They said contact with the plane was lost an hour after takeoff. Bits of aircraft debris and a one-man life raft were sighted 11 miles off the coast but there was no sign of survivors. Officials said the cause of the crash was not yet known.
Ron and I went, consecutively, through Class 68A at Vance AFB, OK, F-100 RTU Class 68FR at Cannon AFB, NM, and were also together in the 31st Wing at Tuy Hoa AB, RVN, June ’68 to June ’69, though in different squadrons there. I consider him one of my best friends, though we had opposite personalities. He never acquired the fighter pilot braggadocio and I never saw him knee walking, though he was not a teetotaler.
A genuinely good guy. How he chose me to befriend I’ll never know. When not flying he had a cigar in his mouth wherever it was allowed. He came to UPT a Capt. with navigator wings, married with a daughter and son (now we know a second daughter) on the way.
He was far more mature than all the rest of us fresh-from- the-campus-womb wannabes, with nonetheless, a quiet determination to excel, which he did in academics, flying, and leadership, where he skunked all of us, arrested-development adolescents.
From Vietnam, we both went to the 401st Wing at Torrejon AB, Spain, again in different squadrons. I had transferred to the 48th Wing in Lakenheath England to stay in F-100s and was not there when Ron and Jerry Cashman went out over the Med in an F-4E and never came back. Both of them were known “good sticks,” though they would have been low-time F-4E jocks, and it was quite a shock to all of us who knew them both.
- 1972 614th TFS, Incirlik AB, Turkey (F-100)
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