Patrick Joseph RonanSergeant
281ST AHC, 10TH CAB, 17TH CAG, 1 AVN BDE
Army of the United States
02 September 1948 - 18 February 1969
Panel 32W Line 056
The database page for Patrick Joseph Ronan
Patrick was a friendly young man who lived on my street.
From a neighbor,
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.
From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Notes from The Virtual WallOn 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
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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