RONALD L BOND - CAPT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- December 14, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- September 30, 1971
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- Air Force
Ronald Leslie Bond was born in Camden, NJ, on December 14, 1947, to Mr. and Mrs. Errol Q. Bond, Sr. His home of record is Haddonfield, NJ, where he grew up. Ronald had one brother, Errol. At the age of 12, Ron was on the Haddonfield Little League Team that went to the state finals. In the same year, he was Middle Atlantic AAU, 12 and under diving champion and a Tri-County swimming and diving champion. In his high school years at Haddonfield Memorial High School, he was wrestling champion in his weight class. When Ron graduated from high school in 1965, he was accepted into the University of Delaware, but was also granted an appointment to the US Air Force Academy, which he accepted.
His first assignment after graduating from the Academy in 1969, was Navigator School, then training to be the "guy in back" in the F-4 Fighter Bomber, then an unexpected (and unwanted) assignment to South Korea. Ron did everything he could think of to get a Vietnam assignment, and the orders to go to Vietnam came while he was home just prior to leaving for Korea. His unit was the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. With his heavy clothes on their way to Korea and his lighter clothes shipped home to Haddonfield, NJ, he left for Da Nang, South Vietnam, arriving there February 6, 1971.
Ron was home again in July 1971. He was on R & R, but had come home to be fitted with contact lenses so he could become a pilot. When Ron came stateside in July, one of his concerns was what his father might want for Christmas.
Shortly after his return to Da Nang, Ron began flying Forward Air Controller reconnaissance missions. He was attached to the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron and had attained the rank of Captain (CAPT).
On September 30, 1971, he flew on an operational mission as the "guy in back" for Captain Michael L. Donovan's F-4E. The pair were on their last leg of their mission. They had met up twice with the KC-135 (for fuel). The aircraft failed to return to Da Nang, and after an extensive search the two men were declared, "missing in action" at the time of estimated fuel exhaustion. Ron was on his 150th mission in 222 days. They were short of navigators and he took every opportunity to fly even with squadrons other than his own.
Captain Bond's status remained "missing in action" until February 6, 1979, when his status was administratively changed to "killed in action". Since his remains have yet to be recovered and returned, he is listed by the Department of Defense as unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.
Bond was awarded the Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters (which means it was awarded nine times). He was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters (that means it was awarded three times).
Sources: POW Network and NJVVMF
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