Brigadier General Richard Stephen “Steve” Ritchie, was Captain Steve Ritchie, when he was assigned to Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, in northeast Thailand the year before I was assigned to Udorn (1973). “Captain” Ritchie became an ace, having 5 MiG-21 kills during his tour of duty. The war was heavy the year before I arrived at Udorn. “Captain” Ritchie’s F4 was an alert aircraft at Udorn, and stayed there after he finished his tour of duty. The MiG kill markings remained on his F-4. As I was given a tour of the base, soon after my arrival, I was very proud to see “Captain” Ritchie’s F4, as it was used to suppress the communist air and ground forces from North Vietnam as well as the communist led Pathet Lao forces in neighboring Laos. Brigadier General Richard Stephen “Steve” Ritchie is a true American hero. In the video, General Ritchie tells the truth of what the USA is all about. The links that follow the video summary will tell you more about Steve Ritchie, and his career of service to our nation. He is still alive on this Memorial Day, and I thank him for his service to our country, as I thank all of the other men and women who have served in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, whether they are, or were, active duty, national guard or reserve. May God bless America!
Uploaded on Mar 24, 2011
Brig. Gen Steve Ritchie tells the amazing story of the rescue of downed pilot Roger Locher in Vietnam in 1972.
In that same year Ritchie volunteered for his second tour in Southeast Asia and was assigned to the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn, Thailand. Flying an F-4D with the famous 555th (“Triple Nickel”) Tactical Fighter Squadron, he became the only Air Force jet ace by downing a MiG-21 on May 10, another on May 31, two on July 8 and his last on Aug. 28.
After completing 339 combat missions totaling more than 800 flying hours, Ritchie returned as one of the most highly decorated pilots of the war, having received the Air Force Cross, four Silver Stars, 10 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 25 Air Medals.
His combat expertise brought him the 1972 “Mackay Trophy” for the most significant Air Force mission of the year (along with Capts. Jeff Feinstein and Charles DeBellevue), the Air Force Academy’s 1972 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship, and the 1972 Armed Forces Award, presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1973 he was selected as one of the “Outstanding Young Men of America,” and in 1974 he received the Eugene Zuckert Award from the Civil Air Patrol.