RONALD DEAN LAYTON
on Dec. 23, 1943
From GOLDEN, COLORADO
Casualty was on Apr. 4, 1969
in QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, FIXED WING - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Panel 27W - - Line 11
I was so proud of
Ron and his accomplishments. He was handsome, smart, athletic and fun.
His sense of humor was catching and his smile made his eyes squint.
loved flying and was ecstatic when he learned he would fly jets for
the Marines. He was only happier when he was with his wife, Carol. His
sense of duty to his country took him away from us twice: when he shipped
out to VietNam in September of 1968, and the day he died - April 4,
what he named his airplane!
"Wall" in Washington, D.C. has been a very special place to
me for several years. When there, I feel a closeness to Ron that is
amazing - I feel his spirit and know that he is with me always.
not in DC much now, so this picture will have to substitute for personal
visits to the beautiful memorial.
I love you and miss you so much! --Barb
His name is 1Lt.
Ronald D. Layton, and he was flying an A-4E out of Chu Lai with VMA
211. He and his wingman were "hotpad" launched (emergency)
in the early afternoon to provide close air support for ground forces
17 miles SW of Danang. On his second pass he was struck by hostile fire
and crashed. The plane disintegrated, and his body was recovered from
a sandbar in or near the Song Vu Gia. He did not eject, but was still
strapped into the ejection seat some distance from the plane.
There were ground forces nearby, but I am unable to find anyone from
the unit under fire using my research techniques. I do have an eyewitness
from a distance north of where he was bombing. His name is Neil Wilson,
and he's with the 1st Bn 7th Marines.
Ron may have been flying in "Operation Oklahoma Hills" as
there were a number of air strikes during this operation. He may have
been supporting the 1/7 or the 3/5 as both were involved in this operation
and both were in the right area to have been involved in the fighting
where he crashed.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS posthumously to
FIRST LIEUTENANT RONALD D.
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
‘For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving
as a Pilot with Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 211, Marine Aircraft
Group Twelve, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations
against the enemy of the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the afternoon
of 4 April 1969, First Lieutenant Layton launched as Section Leader
of a flight of two A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to destroy an enemy
staging area seventeen miles southwest of DaNang in Quang Nam Province.
Arriving over the designated area, he found that visibility was extremely
poor due to a heavy ground haze and that friendly units were within
300 meters of the target. Effectively coordinating with the Ground Forward
Air Controller, he skillfully maneuvered his aircraft on the initial
pass against the hostile position and delivered his ordnance with pinpoint
accuracy, causing numerous fires.
Undaunted by the threat of enemy fire and the smoke and haze which nearly
obliterated the target, he completely disregarded his own safety as
he fearlessly maneuvered his Skyhawk into the hazardous area a second
time and released his rockets with devastating effectiveness against
the hostile position.
As his A-4 began its climb out of the dangerous area, it came under intense
hostile ground fire and sustained severe battle damage, forcing the
aircraft to crash and fatally injuring First Lieutenant Layton. First
Lieutenant Layton’s courage, resolute determination and unfaltering
devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the
Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave
his life in the service of his country.’
FOR THE PRESIDENT,
H. W. BUSE, JR.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDING GENERAL, FLEET MARINE
Ron Layton and John
Franklin Meyer were best friends in flight training at Pensacola and
were killed within three months of each other in the same general area,
Ron flying jets and John helicopters. See John Meyer for further particulars.
Talked to your sister
last night Ron, or I guess I should say Sir, you are a officer, no I
think I'll call you Ron. Looked at your picture tonight for a hour and
cried, that gives me the right to call you Ron. I don't know you, but
I do. I know what you stood for. I know you have a loving family. I
know you are a true American, and gave ALL you had to be one.
I know you saved
lives by risking your own. I was on the ground I know what it's like
to call for air support. "Where do you want it Ranger 35?"
" Put it on the treeline" Yea, we loved you guys. Men like
you are the reason I got home, a little banged up but still got home,
THANK YOU. Some will say you died in vain, but they won't say it to
me, I'll not hear that. We'll meet some day and have a cold beer, if
it's really Heaven you know they have cold beer.
Viet Nam Vet 1969-70 ( Brother)
Were So Special
Ron, You were like
a son to me, even though I was only 10 when you were born. I'm so glad
you were a part of my life. I was devastated when you were taken away.
We had a lot of good times together, and I have many fond memories of
you. You will always have a special place in my heart. I love you, Aunt
Am So Proud
Hey Ron, I was very
young when you were taken from us, but I do remember how I looked up
to you. You were so strong and handsome to me. Even though I don't remember
much about you, I am very proud to say that you are my cousin. You are
a hero to me and our country. Thank-you for being there for all of us.
I love you, Paula
unit insignia courtesy of Bluejacket.com