Ronald R. King (1967/10/03)
Four months after the death of their son Welton, the King family received another jolt.
Ronald Runyan King was born on November 1, 1926 , in Amity, Arkansas, to Mr. and Mrs. C. F. King. The King family consisted of another son, Welton (who was also among the county's war dead) and daughters Jo Ann and Jane. The family later moved to the California central valley community of Merced, where Ronald attended local schools.
Following graduation from Merced High School in 1945, Ronald King entered the US Army and served until the conclusion of World War II. After he was discharged, he returned to his parent's home in Santa Cruz, California, and enrolled in nearby San Jose State College.
After graduating from college, about 1950, King entered the US Air Force and was commissioned a second lieutenant. Following the Korean War, he attended the Air Force Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Base, Alabama, and then served in England for the next three years. Upon his return to the United States, King completed an advanced training program at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, and then received orders to Southeast Asia.
After Major King departed for Thailand in 1967, his wife Margaret and their four sons John, Richard, William and Robert moved into a home in San Jose, California. Upon his arrival at the Takhli Royal Thai Air Base, King was assigned to the 333rd Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing.
On October 3, 1967, Ronald King had just completed a reconnaissance mission to North Vietnam aboard his F105D fighter when he ran out of fuel over the Gulf of Tonkin. He was reported to have ejected from the aircraft, parachuted into heavy seas and drowned by waves that reached twenty feet in height. His body was never recovered. Major Ronald Runyan King was posthumously promoted to Lt. Colonel and a memorial service in his honor was conducted at the Golden Gate National Cemetery at San Bruno on October 8, 1967.
(VVMW; VVVW; SCSn October 5, 1967 1:4, October 8, 1967)