Ronald Benton Rueppel

First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
30 March 1948 - 27 September 1971
Moscow, Idaho
Panel 02W Line 028

Army Aviator

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

The database page for Ronald Benton Rueppel

29 Jun 2007

Ron Will Never Be Forgotten!

Our deep love for Ron "LUCKY" will never change, he is always in our hearts and thoughts. The past 36 years, 9 months since his death have been so long ... as we think of him, see his pictures, go visit his grave we remember over and over how much he was a wonderful part of our whole family. We all treasure Ron and in our memories, "LUCKY" shall always be with us. He was such a exceptional person and our Ron shall remains in our hearts forever. Our family was so blessed to have Ron "LUCKY" for the time we had him, he's our own treasure! Ron went to Heaven be with GOD on September 27, 1971, he waits for us there and in time we shall all be with him again.

Never shall we forget our Ron "Lucky" Benton Rueppel,
Love forever from your aunt Shirley and uncle Phil

Shirley and Phillip Tenwick
627 South Adams Street, Moscow, Idaho 83843

Wanda and Walter Rueppel, his parents.
Walter served in WW II.

LT Ronald Rueppel recently graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point. He majored in engineering management with a minor in civil engineering.

He is the son of the late Ronald "Lucky" Rueppel, a Deary native who died in Vietnam, and Judie and Larry Wright of Boise. He is the grandson of Walt and Wanda Rueppel of Deary and Don and Mary Lee Wilson of Buhl, and the great-grandson of Alice Brantling of Moscow.

His summer training included programs in advanced squad leadership training at Camp Buckner, N.Y., and Airborne school at Fort Benning, GA. He also worked for the Army Corps of Engineers in Sacramento, Calif. and was acting platoon leader in Ashaffensburg, Germany.

He is now at Fort Bliss, Texas, going through the Air Defense Artillery's Officer Basic Course and working with the Patriot Missile System. After the course, he will be stationed in Germany.

Newspaper article (unknown source) 1991

"Lucky's" son.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

According to information available from the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association database, 1LT Rueppel was flying as gunner in an AH-1G Cobra (tail number 67-15478) piloted by Warrant Officer William S. Dalby. The Cobra was lead aircraft in a flight of three; the other two aircraft were an OH-6 and a UH-1H. Shortly after take-off the flight encountered light rain and WO Dalby could see a heavy cloud bank ahead. As the ceiling lowered to 200 feet, Dalby reduced altitude before realizing that the weather ahead was unacceptable. At that point he altered course to the right. After a short time he sighted the river to his right and turned toward it, noting an airspeed on 70 knots and an altitude of 150 feet. Immediately after rolling out of the turn the Cobra hit the top of a tree, plowed through several more, and crashed in the river, where it immediately began to sink. Although the canopy would not jettison, it released itself as the fuselage sunk and WO Dalby was able to escape; he eventually was rescued by ARVN troops.

Navy divers located the wreckage and recovered 1LT Rueppel's body. It was determined that he was killed or fatally injured by the tree impacts rather than by the crash itself.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his aunt and uncle,
Shirley and Phillip Tenwick
627 South Adams Street, Moscow, Idaho 83843

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 Jun 2007
Last updated 11/13/2007