Patrick Joseph Ronan

Army of the United States
02 September 1948 - 18 February 1969
Philadelphia, PA
Panel 32W Line 056



Army Aircrew

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Patrick Joseph Ronan

19 Aug 2001

Patrick was a friendly young man who lived on my street.
All of the neighbors think of him often and miss him very much.

From a neighbor,
Kathleen Armstrong

24 Jun 2003

Patrick J Ronan

The photo and following article is taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, special supplement entitled 'SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY,' October 26, 1987. The special supplement was issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Philadelphia Viet Nam Memorial.

The 20-year-old Army sergeant was on his second tour of duty in Viet Nam with the 281st Aviation Company of the 10th Combat Aviation Battalion and had volunteered for a third tour when he died on February 18, 1969. Ronan was a 1967 graduate of West Catholic High School and had attended Bok Vocational High School. He had taken an Air Force entrance examination, but chose to enlist in the Army. Survivors included his parents.

From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 18 February 1969, a UH-1 of the 281st AHC crashed in a hostile area about 25 miles southwest of Tuy Hoa Air Base, SVN. Five persons were reported trapped inside the aircraft wreckage. An HH-43 of the 38th ARRS (USAF) reached the scene and lowered Sergeant Michael E. Fish and a firefighter to the ground. Despite sporadic enemy fire, three of the trapped survivors were quickly freed and hoisted aboard the HH-43. Another survivor and a deceased soldier were picked up by an Army UH-1. With night approaching and one injured man still trapped in the wreckage, the rescue aircraft were forced to leave the area. Sergeant Fish remained with the injured man overnight. Early on 19 February the task force returned, encountering small arms fire. The trapped survivor was freed and both he and Fish were evacuated from the area. SGT Fish was awarded the Air Force Cross.

SGT Patrick Ronan, crew chief on the downed UH-1, was the only person who died in the crash and subsequent rescue effort.

Adapted from the VHPA site

Then-WO1 Steve Matthews, a pilot with the 281st, recollects
"being in the unit supply room when the platoon leader was sorting through Patrick's belongings (his issue flight gear and 'personal' items) to pack them up to send them home. It was a solemn task and one which was done with sincere regret for the loss of a brave man, and a loved family member I'm sure. I was secretly glad I didn't have the task, because there is nothing worse than trying to explain the loss of a loved one to his family, but I know the platoon leader was taking the responsibility very seriously. I also remember the whole unit (even if briefly) mourned the loss of a comrade."

From the 281st AHC site

Sergeant Patrick J Ronan is remembered by his comrades in the
281st Assault Helicopter Company

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
Kathleen Armstrong 
19 Aug 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 06/24/2003