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, tho 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 entered Pilot training as a Capttain 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 as “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.