Ronald Keith Kelsey

First Lieutenant
United States Air Force
01 August 1942 - 12 December 1970
Troy, Michigan
Panel 06W Line 117


F-4 Phantom II

USAF Pilot

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ronald Keith Kelsey

30 May 2001

We lost Ron Kelsey on a Low Level mission in NE Laos in December, 1970. Ron was my roommate at Udorn RTAFB. I had to move out as I couldn't take the "empty bed".

During the low level mission the pilot in the front seat (I can't remember his name right now) got into a Pilot-Induced Oscillation (PIO) - story has it that Ron Kelsey thought they had taken a hit and ejected (rear seat only). The pilot recovered from the PIO and returned to Udorn RTAFB with an empty rear seat (most of us went to see the aircraft). I'm sure that this is the only case like this in USAF history where the front seat pilot returned without the rear pilot. Contact WAS made with Ron as I was one of many on the Search and Rescue mission. Contact was lost after a few hours and it was later communicated to me that the Pathet Lao (bad guys) found him and shot him. He was recovered and his body was returned to Udorn.

Ron had 3 kids and a wife in the US - that's about all I remember as I only knew him about a month . . .

Alan Cass
ex-Capt USAF (13 TFS)
7324 Black Mountain Drive, Austin, Texas 78736

A Note from The Virtual Wall

First Lieutenant Kelsey completed pilot training at Moody AFB, Georgia, and F-4 training at George AFB, California, before reporting for duty with the 13th Tac Fighter Squadron at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand. As noted above, he was survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his roomate in Thailand - 1970,
Alan Cass
7324 Black Mountain Drive, Austin, Texas 78736

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 30 May 2001
Last updated 08/17/2006