|Birth: ||Nov. 19, 1941|
|Death: ||Jul. 31, 1967, Vietnam|
Ronald Lyle Packard was born in Springfield, Baca County, Colorado the son of Marian Loine Godrey (1916-1985) and Gordon R. Packard (1914-1993).
He graduated from McKinley Grade School, Wilson Junior High School and Canon City High School, all in Canon City, Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State College in 1963.
Ron and Sharon L. 'Shari' Fry were married on September 2, 1962.
He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force on December 6, 1963 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Ron and Shari, along with their daughter, Lea, arrived at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma where he became a member of Pilot Training Class 65-F, on March 9, 1964.
Ron was assigned to 3575th Pilot Training Wing, 3576th Pilot Training Squadron, Flight 3, 'Speedy' where he flew the T-37B 'Tweet'. While in 'Speedy' flight, his instructors were Jay G. Paulson and James C. Boyd.
Part way through our T-37B training, the class was split in half and he was reassigned to the 3575th Pilot Training Squadron, Flight 4, 'Blue Chip' where his instructors were Lewis A. Barnard and Verlin K. Egly.
In advanced training, he was assigned to Flight 1, 'Skid Row' in the 3575th Pilot Training Squadron, where he flew the super sonic T-38A 'Talon', which was also known as the 'White Rocket'. During T-38 training his instructors were Richard F. Sack, Marlin R. Kitchen and John N. Russell.
On Saturday morning, March 20, 1965, he graduated and was awarded his Pilot Wings.
Shortly after graduation, he went to 3635th Combat Crew Training Wing, Stead Air Force Base, Sparks, Nevada for Advanced Survival Training.
Ron was then assigned to the 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona for upgrade training as a Weapons System Operator in the McDonnell Douglas F-4C 'Phantom II'.
After training at Davis Monthan, he was assigned to the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Robert Headley, a fellow classmate in 65-F' recalls; He got orders to go to SEA right after he got combat ready. He was one of several back-seaters that got picked off as a replacement. Most of the Squadrons got manned-up and then deployed as a Squadron.
He was then assigned to the 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron 'Billy Goats', under the command of the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, stationed at Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam.
On July 31, 1967, F-4C, 64-0693, departed Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam with Captain Thomas Ray Allen as the aircraft commander, and First Lieutenant Ronald Lyle Packard the WSO. Captain Allen's aircraft was the lead aircraft in a flight of two, fragged on a route reconnaissance mission in Route Pack 1, North Vietnam.
They were near the railroad tracks about 5 miles from the coast of Vietnam, 15 miles north of the city of Vinh Linh in Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam when Captain Allen rolled in to attack a target he had located. Shortly thereafter the crew of the number two aircraft observed what appeared to be a large secondary explosion on the ground. Radio contact with Allen's aircraft was unsuccessful. No parachutes were seen and no emergency radio beepers were heard.
Ron was promoted to the grade of Captain posthumously while he was Missing In Action. He was declared Killed in Action on February 4, 1974.
Major Allen and Captain Packard's remains were among those taken from North Vietnam to Hawaii, in May 1993, and later identified through DNA testing.
Captain Ronald Lyle Packard was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia on November 20, 1997 with full military honors.
This monument, at the Walsh Cemetery, Walsh, Baca County, Colorado, was placed before Ron's remains were recovered.
A permanent 12th Tactical Fighter Wing memorial has been established at the War Memorial Park at Fremont County Airport, Canon City, Colorado.
Additional memorials can be seen at Arlington National Cemetery, the Virtual Wall and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Shari later married David L. Blackhurst.
In Memory of / Ronald L Packard / Cpt US Air Force / Nov 18 1941 Feb 4 1974
Maintained by: Lee A. Hillard
Originally Created by: Leon Barton
Record added: Dec 29, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32480217