Ronald E. Catton

 


 

Preferred Name: Ron

Nickname/Call Sign: Ron

Date Of Birth: 01-29-1933

Highest Military Grade Held: Colonel, O-6

Hometown: Waukegan, IL

Biography

Hometown: Waukegan, Illinois (Also hometown of Jack Benny, Nat King Cole, and Otto Graham)

Ron ran track and played football in high school. He ran track on a two year scholarship at Carroll College, Waukesha, WI. While assigned to the 430th TFS, he sat nuclear alert in the F-86H at Hahn AB, Germany, and later in 1957 with the 428th TFS in the F-100D at Incerlik AB, Turkey. As a student in the Fighter Weapons School in 1959, he was the first of only two students ever to complete all academic subjects with a 100% score. In 1960, he returned to the FWS as an instructor. Ron’s tour with the “Thunderbirds” was extended a third show season to accommodate changes in the team’s training schedule. He flew 253 official airshows, first as the Opposing Solo and later as the Lead Solo. His 117 combat missions with the 8th TFW included 100 missions over North Vietnam of which 39 were flown against heavily defended targets in Route Pack VI – mostly in some leadership capacity. His awards and decorations include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 OLC, and the Air Medal with 10 OLC. Upon retirement in 1973, Ron entered the financial services industry as a Branch Manager for ITT Financial Services in Spokane, WA. He later founded Catton Financial Services specializing in pre-retirement planning and post retirement counseling. He’s survived by his second wife, Donnie, to whom he’s been married 28 years after losing Wilda, his first wife of 15 years, to cancer in 1977. He’s also survived by two sons and a daughter (Chris, Scott, and Kennedy Anne) plus seven grandchildren. He happily admits to having had two story-book careers, but is most thankful for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Units Assigned

  • 1952 – Aviation Cadets, Class 53G, Spence Field, GA, T-6G
  • 1953 – Advanced Gunnery, Luke AFB AZ, F-84B
  • 1954 – 430th FBS, K-2 Korea, F-84G
  • 1955 – 430th TFS, Clovis AFB, NM, F-86H/F100D
  • 1959 – USAF Fighter Weapons School (Student), Nellis AFB, NV, F-100D
  • 1960 – USAF Fighter Weapons School (Instructor), Nellis AFB, NV, F-100D
  • 1962 – 4520th ADS, “Thunderbirds” (Demo Pilot), Nellis AFB, NV, F-100C/F105B/F-100D
  • 1965 – Project “Sparrow Hawk,” Eglin AFB, FL, F-5A (Test Pilot)
  • 1966 – Command and Staff College + GWU night school, T-33
  • 1967 – 433rd TFS, 8th TFW “Wolf Pack”, Ubon, Thailand, F-4C
  • 1968 – Pentagon (Programs and Resources), T-33
  • 1970 – ATC , Randolph AFB, TX, (Squadron Commander) T-38
  • 1971 – Webb AFB, TX, DCO/CC, T-37/T-38
  • 1973 – Retired to Spokane, WA

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

Military Education

  • USAF Fighter Weapons School and Command and Staff College

Civilian Education

  • Carroll College, Waukesha, WI and the University of Omaha
Biography

Biography

Hometown: Waukegan, Illinois (Also hometown of Jack Benny, Nat King Cole, and Otto Graham)

Ron ran track and played football in high school. He ran track on a two year scholarship at Carroll College, Waukesha, WI. While assigned to the 430th TFS, he sat nuclear alert in the F-86H at Hahn AB, Germany, and later in 1957 with the 428th TFS in the F-100D at Incerlik AB, Turkey. As a student in the Fighter Weapons School in 1959, he was the first of only two students ever to complete all academic subjects with a 100% score. In 1960, he returned to the FWS as an instructor. Ron’s tour with the “Thunderbirds” was extended a third show season to accommodate changes in the team’s training schedule. He flew 253 official airshows, first as the Opposing Solo and later as the Lead Solo. His 117 combat missions with the 8th TFW included 100 missions over North Vietnam of which 39 were flown against heavily defended targets in Route Pack VI – mostly in some leadership capacity. His awards and decorations include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 OLC, and the Air Medal with 10 OLC. Upon retirement in 1973, Ron entered the financial services industry as a Branch Manager for ITT Financial Services in Spokane, WA. He later founded Catton Financial Services specializing in pre-retirement planning and post retirement counseling. He’s survived by his second wife, Donnie, to whom he’s been married 28 years after losing Wilda, his first wife of 15 years, to cancer in 1977. He’s also survived by two sons and a daughter (Chris, Scott, and Kennedy Anne) plus seven grandchildren. He happily admits to having had two story-book careers, but is most thankful for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1952 – Aviation Cadets, Class 53G, Spence Field, GA, T-6G
  • 1953 – Advanced Gunnery, Luke AFB AZ, F-84B
  • 1954 – 430th FBS, K-2 Korea, F-84G
  • 1955 – 430th TFS, Clovis AFB, NM, F-86H/F100D
  • 1959 – USAF Fighter Weapons School (Student), Nellis AFB, NV, F-100D
  • 1960 – USAF Fighter Weapons School (Instructor), Nellis AFB, NV, F-100D
  • 1962 – 4520th ADS, “Thunderbirds” (Demo Pilot), Nellis AFB, NV, F-100C/F105B/F-100D
  • 1965 – Project “Sparrow Hawk,” Eglin AFB, FL, F-5A (Test Pilot)
  • 1966 – Command and Staff College + GWU night school, T-33
  • 1967 – 433rd TFS, 8th TFW “Wolf Pack”, Ubon, Thailand, F-4C
  • 1968 – Pentagon (Programs and Resources), T-33
  • 1970 – ATC , Randolph AFB, TX, (Squadron Commander) T-38
  • 1971 – Webb AFB, TX, DCO/CC, T-37/T-38
  • 1973 – Retired to Spokane, WA

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

Military Education

  • USAF Fighter Weapons School and Command and Staff College

Civilian Education

  • Carroll College, Waukesha, WI and the University of Omaha