Today in History – December 10, 1968 – Ron Boyle bails out of his F-100 #563332

Ron Boyle’s story…

I had already been shot up once but managed to bail out over the South China Sea. Then in December 1968 on a gun kill mission, with 500lbs’ers 60-degree dive at 600 MPH, I took a direct hit and it blew the aircraft apart. The ejection system worked and the chute opened and all was going good till I heard a little whistling going by me.

The holy bastards were shooting at me with small arms. After I hit the ground, I became the record holder for the 100-yard dash to get a hill between me and the gun so the chopper would not be under fire and would be able to get me picked up.

I do not know who he was now, but there was a Spad directing fire while I was waiting for the chopper to come and extract me. They picked me up and got me back.  When we landed at Da Nang, we did the normal celebrating and we did it all over again on arrival back at Tuy Hoa.

While that part of the story ended well, and I got back with all my fingers and toes, the second chapter took a turn that wasn’t expected.  The following day I went to the flight surgeon and went through the whole drill.  When asked if I felt ready to get back to flying, I told him I was ready but I did not want to go right back to Laos as I had been briefed many, many, times if they (the Laotians)  knew you had been there before they would shoot you as a spy.

After I told him this, the doctor hit the roof, jumped out of his seat, and in a pejorative tone accused me of being afraid to fly, and grounded me.  You have probably met this guy before, the only flight time he got was on a C-130 mail plane between DaNang and Tuy Hoa.   I told him to get his flight suit on and we’d go flying right now – he declined of course.

I requested a trip to Clark for a real medical doctor to check me out and it was granted.  After the first night at Clark, I woke up and swung my feet out of the bed to go to the head.  I looked down and my feet were solid black.  After tests and review, the doctors told me that the opening shock from my parachute had been so drastic that it had separated the iron from the blood in my veins and the iron settled in my feet causing the discoloration.

I was taken off of flight status and left to administrative duties.  After attempting to get back on flight status without success, I gave an old friend a call and wrangled a transfer back to the US.  That urinated on a lot of the brass’ parade as you might imagine.

After getting back to Sacrament CA and my family, I was reassigned to Laredo AFB to finish out my career as a T-38 section commander.

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