Ronald C Deforrest

Airman First Class
United States Air Force
27 March 1947 - 25 April 1969
Salem, Maine
Panel 26W Line 044



554TH RS
USAF Aircrew

National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ronald C Deforrest

08 Oct 2006

Ronald and I grew up together in Salem, Mass, we lived in the same neighborhood and served during Viet Nam. From what I remember he was a quiet kid, always friendly and happy. I was not stationed in Viet Nam during the war and want to ensure he is remembered for giving the ultimate sacrifice for us all.

From a friend,
Jeff Cardinal

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The venerable C-121 Super Constellation was used in a variety of transport and air surveillance missions during the Vietnam war. One version, the EC-121R "Bat Cat" modification, was equipped to monitor the electronic sensors emplaced along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and within North and South Vietnam. Thirty EC-121K and EC-121P aircraft were modified to the EC-121R configuration. The 553rd Reconnaissance Wing was activated at Otis AFB, Massachusetts, in February 1967 and deployed with 27 aircraft to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in October 1967.

On 25 April 1969, an EC-121R (tail number 67-21493) of the 554th Recon Sqdn launched on an operational mission. The weather was poor, with thunderstorms around the field. Shortly after getting airborne the EC-121R encountered a severe wind sheer which forced the heavily-laden aircraft into the ground about 4 miles southwest of the airfield, where it exploded and burned. Although rescue crews arrived at the crash site within minutes, none of the 18 aircrewmen aboard survived the crash. Those killed were

  • TSgt James H. Belflower, Atlanta, GA
  • TSgt Albert N. Booker, Waco, TX
  • Major Thomas M. Brandom, Liberty, MO
  • A1C Michael J. Cotterill, Rochester, NY
  • SSgt Jerald C. Davis, Chicago, IL
  • A1C Ronald C. Deforrest, Salem, ME
  • TSgt Warren C. Delaney, Coolidge, GA
  • SSgt Paul Faulk, New York, NY
  • TSgt Kenneth W. Fowler, Petersburg, IN
  • LtCol Emerson E. Heller, Spring City, PA
  • Capt George R. Kidd, Punta Gorda, FL
  • Major Paul R. Lunsford, Cleveland, OH
  • 1stLt John A. Marsh, Altoona, PA
  • LtCol William C. McCormick, Williamsport, PA
  • Sgt Mitchel Messing, Oceanside, CA
  • SSgt James D. Moore, Marlin, TX
  • Sgt Mark M. Steeley, St Paul Park, MN
  • Sgt William D. Stepp, Jackson, MO

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Jeff Cardinal

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index D
ME State Index . Panel 26W
554TH RS Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 08 Oct 2006
Last updated 10/17/2006