FORRESTER, RONALD WAYNE
FORRESTER, RONALD WAYNE
Rank / Branch:
FIRST MARINE AIR WIN
Date of Birth:
SEE MIA REPORT
BODY NOT RETURNED
Awards & Decorations:
See Alphabetical list
list by County
RONALD WAYNE FORRESTER, CAPTAIN, USMC, ODESSA, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Marine Aviator Wings, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal (3rd award), Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, RVN Campaign Medal, USN Unit Citation, RVN Cross of Gallantry w/ Palm Unit Citation and RVN Civil Action Unit Citation
Just three weeks before the Vietnam War ended, Capt. Ronald Wayne Forrester, USMC, disappeared during a routine night bombing mission on Highway One, in Quan Binh Province, North Vietnam. His mission on Dec. 27, 1972, was part of President Nixon's famous "Ten Day War" when American air power pounded Hanoi to force peace negotiations in Paris on Jan. 20, 1973.
A veteran of 40 combat missions into North Vietnam, Forrester's last radio contact was with a forward air controller requesting target weather information. Ground anti-aircraft fire is believed to have downed his plane.
Forrester's name never appears on the Prisoners of War lists from North Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia. His loss is classified as a "discrepancy case," in which the Department of Defense believes that the Vietnamese have knowledge of the incident, but have not disclosed details.
Forrester was stationed at the Royal Thai Air Base in Nam Phong, Thailand, with the Marine Corps' VMA 533 Squadron as an A-6 Grumman Intruder bombardier/navigator. His assignments previously had been at Naval Air Stations in Pensacola, Florida; Beaufort, South Carolina; and Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Ronald Wayne Forrester was born in Montaque County, Texas to Neva Dean Demoss and William Wayne Forrester and was a twin brother to Donald Wayne Forrester. Ronald had a younger brother, Larry, three years younger. Ronald was a 1965 graduate of Ector High School in Odessa, Texas. . While at Ector, he played on the Eagle Football Team and earned two letters. He attended Texas A&M University and was a member of the Corp of Cadets. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and received his officer's commission in January, 1969, in the United States Marine Corp. He was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was maintained missing. He married Jana Hamilton in 1969 in Odessa. They have a daughter, Karoni Lynn. They divorced just prior to the beginning of his tour in Vietnam. His daughter, Karoni is now grown and married to Javier Gonzales and Ronnie now has a granddaughter, Lilian Waine Gonzales. Karoni continues to be active in the National League of Families. She is the Chairman of the National League of Families Publicity Committee.
Senior Year at Texas A&M
Name: Ronald Wayne Forrester
Rank/Branch: O2/US Marine Corps
Unit: VMA 533, MAG 15, 1st Marine Air Wing
Date of Birth: 15 March 1947
Home City of Record: Odessa TX
Date of Loss: 27 December 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 171500N 1064500E (XD985800)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: Ralph J. Chipman (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: POSS DEAD/QUAN DOI NHAN DAN
SYNOPSIS: The Grumman A6 Intruder is an all weather, low-altitude, carrier-based attack plane. The A6A primarily flew close air support, all-weather and night attacks on enemy troop concentrations, and night interdiction missions. Its advanced navigation and attack system, known as DIANE (Digital Integrated Attack navigation Equipment) allowed small precision targets, such as bridges, barracks and fuel depots to be located and attacked in all weather conditions, day or night. The planes were credited with some of the most difficult single-plane strikes in the war, including the destruction of the Hai Duong bridge between Hanoi and Haiphong by a single A6. Their missions were tough, but their crews among the most talented and most courageous to serve the United States.
Capt. Ralph J. Chipman was the pilot of an Intruder assigned a mission over North Vietnam on December 27, 1972. His co-pilot on the flight was 1Lt. Ronald W. Forrester. The aircraft did not return from the mission, and last contact was made with the crew over the target area.
A subsequent article in Quan Doi Nhan Dan, a daily Vietnamese newspaper described an aircraft downed by the Vietnamese. Apparently the pilot was reported to be dead, and possibly the co-pilot as well. Although this article was thought to possibly relate to Chipman and Forrester, it was not definite enough for proof of death. Both men were classified Missing in Action. It is believed that the Vietnamese could account for them.
Cecil Forrester Family, Ron, Don and Larry-Top Row-Cecil and Neva-Bottom Row-1967
Ron, Jana and Karoni-1971
Ron and Karoni-1971
Ron and Karoni-1971