Ronald Lester BabcockFirst Lieutenant
B TRP, 7TH SQDN, 1ST CAVALRY, 1 AVN BDE
Army of the United States
08 October 1945 - 27 February 1971
Panel 04W Line 008
The database page for Ronald Lester Babcock
Ron, I have a rubbing of your name on the Wall in Washington. Little did we know when we were in flight school together what the future would bring. I think of you often and sincerely wish they would find you and bring you home. May God Rest Your Soul.
Ron was my friend ... we graduated from forestry school at Northern Arizona University together. Our class was a small one that consisted of 13 close-knit, energetic young men who viewed the world as our plum.
Ron and I battled forest fires together. We stayed up late at night together, studying for exams. We partied together. We traveled as a part of the forestry college team from NAU to forestry competitions with other colleges from throughout the west together. I had obtained my pilot's license while I was at NAU and once, I took Ron flying with me.
When we graduated in 1968, the Vietnam conflict was well underway. I was married with a child on the way. Ron was single and knew that he would likely be drafted. Instead, he chose the path to Vietnam for himself like a lot of brave Americans from our generation. Ron had always wanted to fly so he applied for OCS and was accepted.
I never saw Ron again after we graduated. I moved to California and then to Montana. Ron went to Vietnam - and died in Laos doing something he always wanted to do: FLY!
God Bless, Buddy. The wings you're wearing now won't fall for anyone.
I have worn a bracelet for 1st Lt. Ronald L. Babcock for more years than I can remember.
Over this time, I have searched the web often for information regarding him and his service.
I will continue to wear this bracelet as an honor to Lt. Babcock and his service to our country.
I did not know Captain Babcock, but I have worn his POW/MIA bracelet for two decades.
As the proud daughter of a Vietnam veteran who rests in Arlington, my heart aches for all of us and goes out to his family in particular.
On this Memorial Day, as I remove Ron's bracelet after learning he has been "accounted for," I think of him yet again. He has never been - and will never be - forgotten.
Notes from The Virtual WallIn early 1971, South Vietnamese ground forces penetrated Laos in an effort to disrupt enemy resupply and reinforcement operations along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. While US ground forces were not involved, the United States did provide heavy air support.
On 27 Feb 71, Bravo Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Cavalry, was tasked with providing hunter-killer teams in support of the ARVN 1st Infantry Division. These operations involved a low-flying scout helicopter, usually an OH-6, with higher-flying UH-1s and/or AH-1s waiting to be called in on targets found by the OH-6 scout. On this occasion, an OH-6A (tail number 67-16256) flown by 1LT Ronald L. Babcock, with SFC Fred Mooney as observer/gunner, was hit by .51 caliber anti-aircraft machinegun fire.
The VHPA database describes the loss as follows:
"Lt. Ronald Babcock was flying one of the OH6A Loaches and his door-gunner/observer, Fred Mooney, was the scout platoon sergeant. A man in his forties, Mooney was not required to fly, but he volunteered to show the young draftees that old lifers could be as tough as they were. Skimming low over the trees, the Loach was hit by NVA fire, and Babcock radioed that they were going down. The Command and Control ship chased after the descending ship and observed the Loach crash on a dirt road. Mooney and Babcock jumped out and ran across a grassy clearing, whereupon they were cut down by North Vietnamese in the treeline. The C & C ship commander dropped to a ten foot hover and called on the radio that, from their appearance, the two were dead. They were first listed Missing In Action, but status was changed without tangible evidence to Killed/Body Not Recovered in less than a year."The two were placed in Missing in Action status until an Army review board determined that all available evidence indicated they had been killed by small arms fire after leaving the OH-6A. At that time their status was changed to Killed in Action on 27 Feb 71, bodies not recovered.
A JTF-FA report dated 04 Nov 1998 contains the following summary of the incident:
The report goes on to say that the crash site had been positively identified and that crew-related items (but no remains) had been recovered from it. The investigation team recommended that the site be scheduled for excavation.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a flight school classmate,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 18 Jun 2003
Last updated 03/23/2008