Ronald Leslie Bond

Captain, United States Air Force


390th Tactical Fighter Squadron
366th Tactical Fighter Wing
7th Air Force 

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: September 30, 1971
Memorialized at The Courts of the Missing
                             Honolulu National Cemetery
                             Honolulu, Hawaii 
Awards: Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, 
Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters 

CAPTAIN RONALD LESLIE BOND was born in Camden, New Jersey on
December 14, 1947. He grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey. At the age of 12, Ron was on the Haddonfield Little League team that went to the New Jersey finals. In that same year he was Middle Atlantic AAU, 12 and under Diving Champion and a tri-county swimming and diving champion. In his high school years at Haddonfield
Memorial High School, he was wrestling champion in his weight class. When Ron graduated from high school in 1965, he was accepted at the University of Delaware, but was also granted an appointment to the Air Force Academy, which he accepted.

His first assignment after graduating from the Academy in 1969 was navigator school, then training to be "Guy in Back" in the F4 fighter bomber, then an unexpected (and unwanted) assignment to South Korea. Ron did everything he could think of to get a Vietnam assignment, and the orders to go to Vietnam came while he was home just prior to leaving for Korea. With his heavy clothes on their way to Korea and his lighter clothes shipped home to Haddonfield, he left for Da Nang, South Vietnam, arriving there February 6, 1971.

Ron was home again in July, 1971. He was on R & R, but had come home to be fitted with contact lenses so that he could become a pilot. Shortly after his return to
Da Nang, Ron began flying Forward Air Controller reconnaissance missions. He was attached to the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

On September 30, 1971, Capt. Michael L. Donovan, pilot, and then 1st Lt. Ronald L. Bond, navigator, comprised the crew of an F4E, call sign "Stormy 3," on a daylight visual reconnaissance mission in southern Steel Tiger East - that portion of Laos which bordered South Vietnam. The flight departed DaNang Airbase, South Vietnam at 0643 hours with a planned flight path that took them from DaNang to their target area, then return to DaNang. 

Operation Steel Tiger was a limited interdiction effort against North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao troop/supply movements within the panhandle of southern Laos. This route, known as the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail, consisted of numerous winding roads and pathways through jungle covered mountains and valleys which served for many years as an infiltration route from North Vietnam, through neutral Laos, then into selected areas of South Vietnam under Communist control.

At 1130 hours, after refueling twice from a KC135 airborne tanker, Capt. Donovan called another Forward Air Controller (FAC) in the area reporting they were proceeding from Sectors 8 and 9 to their final assigned area, Sector 5. This area was approximately 2 kilometers east of the town of Muang Nong, Savannahket Province, Laos.

When it was determined that Stormy 3 was overdue, visual and electronic search and rescue (SAR) operations were immediately initiated. On 6 October, a SAR aircraft found the scattered wreckage of what was believed to be an F4 toward the southern end of a long, narrow jungle covered valley located between mountain ranges approximately 1500 meters northwest of Ban Pepten, Saravane Province, Laos. The wreckage was also located roughly ˝ mile west of a north-south running primary road, 4 miles due north of Ban Tong Alai Xoukoutoua, 13 miles southwest of the Lao/South Vietnamese border, 26 miles southwest of Khe Sanh and 115 miles west-northwest of DaNang. Because of intense enemy activity in the area, no ground team could be inserted to search for the crew or to confirm the wreckage was that of the aircraft flown by Capt. Donovan and 1st Lt. Bond. Both men were immediately listed Missing in Action.

Bond and Donovan are two of the nearly 600 men missing in action over Laos. The poorly-negotiated Paris Peace Agreement ending American involvement in Southeast Asia did not address the prisoners of war and missing held in Laos, and no subsequent negotiations ever held to secure their freedom. As a result, even though the Pathet Lao stated publicly that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, not one man held in Laos was released.

Ronald Bond's parents moved to California about a year after his disappearance and remained active in their search for information about their son. They believed that there was a possibility their son could be alive and a prisoner. They believed some, perhaps many, Americans were still alive and held prisoner in Southeast Asia.

Captain Bond’s status remained “missing in action” until February 6, 1979, when his status was administratively changed to “killed in action”. Since his remains have yet to be recovered and returned, he is listed by the Department of Defense as unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.

In late 1998, Errol Bond was still attempting to get documents on his sons fate. The incidents' "CHECO" report was to remain classified until 2003 he was told.
Fingerprints had long since been destroyed from files - although footprints had been saved ("the boots are the last to burn...." he was told). Classmates of his son help keep the memories alive. Questions remain, answers are still sought - peace within, is still elusive.

Sadly, Ronald Bond's parents and family were among the many whose emotions were played with by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons, almost none of them good. This web-site provides facts about the issue of Americans who remain "missing in action" (MIA) from the Vietnam War.  At the conclusion of the Vietnam War, 2,583 Americans did not return. A vast mythology has built up around what really happened to these individuals. Misinformation, pseudo-history, and deliberate fabrication are rampant. As a result, myths are regularly proclaimed to be fact. The site destroys those myths.

The Myths:

Not all US POWs were released by their captors at the end of the Vietnam War.

The U.S. government knew that all POWs were not released.

U.S. POWs remain in captivity today.

There is a conspiracy within the U. S. government to hide the continued imprisonment of Americans and, whenever the truth emerges, it is debunked.

The U.S. government is doing nothing to account for or recover missing men. 

The Facts:

All U.S. POWs captured during the Vietnam War were released, either at Operation Homecoming (spring, 1973) or earlier. 

The only men captured and not released are 113 who died in captivity; their identities and the circumstances of their deaths are known; some of their remains have been recovered/returned..

No U. S. prisoners of war have been abandoned by the U. S. government.

No U.S. POWs remained in captivity after the conclusion of Operation Homecoming.

There is no conspiracy within the U. S. government to conceal the abandonment of prisoners of war (who were not abandoned in the first place).

No U.S. POWs from Indochina were taken to the Soviet Union, China, or any other third country.

Personnel who were aboard planes that were witnessed crashing into the ocean ten seconds after take-off from an aircraft carrier, but whose bodies were not recovered, are listed as "missing".

Soldiers whose body parts were witnessed by U.S. personnel at helicopter crash sites, but whose parts were not able to be recovered due to enemy action, are listed as "missing". 

While it is obviously preferable to recover the bodies of those lost, it is not always possible. The practice of counting the KNOWN DEAD as POWs and/or MIAs to "pump the numbers" is disgraceful and dishonors everyone, the dead, the legitimately missing, the families, and those who currently serve.

The U.S. government has been -- since well before the end of the Vietnam War -- exerting all possible efforts to recover or account for missing men. That effort continues today and is unprecedented in the history of warfare. Those who promote these false claims have produced a vast array of half-truth, untruth, hearsay, unsubstantiated claims, personal attacks, and mythology. The accumulated effect of years of nonsense has been exactly what one would expect: 

The big lie has been accepted as truth in some quarters.


Yearly visits

Every year I visit the wall usually on your casualty date. since the walls dedication I have written you a yearly up date on my life. with the hopes that some day you will come home and read them, Ronnie. About 8 years ago your mom gave me another bracelet with your name on it, this one has your picture. I wear them both. Every time I go home I visit the town memorial and place some flowers there for you Ronnie you are deeply missed I hope some day you can come home.

Sharon Wieber
from same town - vietnam same time
Lake Park, Georgia
Thursday, May 18, 2000

I wore his POW/MIA bracelet in the 70s

I am overwhelmed with emotion ~ I just didn't want this hero's comment section to be empty. I wore his POW/MIA bracelet in the 70s. I feel somehow tied to him, and I wanted anybody who reads this to know that this hero is not forgotten by the young girl who prayed for this young man and still thinks about him and his family. My heart will always hold a place for him. I would love to make contact with anyone who knew Capt. Ronald L. Bond. (My bracelet says Lt. Ronald L. Bond ~ 9/30/71.) I don't know what else to say ~ so I'll leave with the song "(You are the) Wind Beneath My Wings". Ronald, did you ever know that you're my hero?

Denise Bryant
Wednesday, August 18, 1999

My Adopted MIA

Capt. Ronald L. Bond, My name is Ken Hampton. I'm a 2005 Junior at Sam Houston High School in Arlington, TX. As part of a class assignment on Vietnam MIA's, I learned your story and shared it with my classmates. I learned of your sacrifice and will remember you.

Ken Hampton
Arlington, TX
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Not Forgotten

I bought Ronald Bond's bracelet at the Viet Nam Veteran's Memorial in 1994. It was a pleasant surprise to see that he was from my home state of NJ. I have worn his bracelet every day since 1994 and visited him at the VVM and at the Air Force Academy where his name is listed among those graduates killed and missing at the Air Force Academy Chapel. Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I have also contacted his parents to remind them that there are millions of us who have not forgotten our Viet Nam veterans and thousands of us who have not forgotten Ronald Bond in particular.

Carl M. Ostergaard, Jr.
Astoria, New York
Wednesday, June 01, 2005

is honored on Panel 2W Line 31 of
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.