Final Mission of CAPT Ronald L. BabcockPosted on 6/18/14 - by email@example.comLam Son 719 was a large-scale offensive against enemy communications lines which was conducted in that part of Laos adjacent to the two northern provinces of South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese would provide and command ground forces, while U.S. forces would furnish airlift and supporting fire. Phase I, renamed Operation Dewey Canyon II, involved an armored attack by the U.S. from Vandegrift base camp toward Khe Sanh, while the ARVN moved into position for the attack across the Laotian border. Phase II began with an ARVN helicopter assault and armored brigade thrust along Route 9 into Laos. ARVN ground troops were transported by American helicopters, while U.S. Air Force provided cover strikes around the landing zones. During one of these maneuvers, on February 27, 1971, the Bravo Dutchmasters were airborne over Laos, their pink teams doing low-level scouting in the area of operations of the ARVN 1st Infantry Division. CAPT Ronald L. Babcock was flying one of the OH-6A Loaches (serial #67-16256) and his door-gunner/observer, SFC Fred Mooney was the scout platoon sergeant. A man in his forties, Mooney was not required to fly, but he volunteered to show the young draftees that old lifers could be as tough as they were. After ten minutes in the area, the formation began receiving .51 caliber ground fire. Skimming low over the trees, the Loach was hit by NVA fire, and Babcock made several radio transmissions, saying that his observer was hit and that he didn't have any control over the aircraft. He radioed that they were going down. The Command and Control ship chased after the descending ship and observed the Loach crash on its skids on a dirt road. The last transmission heard from Babcock was either "sit still" or "don't move." The rotor, which had lost one blade, continued to turn. The aircraft was still intact, and the tail boom and windshield bubble had not been damaged extensively. It looked as if someone had thrown a smoke grenade, as there was smoke in the crash site area. However, the aircraft had not burned. A crew chief on one of the airborne helicopters thought he saw Mooney and Babcock jump out and run across a grassy clearing, whereupon they were cut down by North Vietnamese in the tree line. The C & C ship commander dropped to a twenty-foot hover and called on the radio that, from their appearance, the two were dead. Babcock and Mooney were seen lying face up a few feet in front of the helicopter. Neither man was moving, and their faces were pale, with eyes wide open. Both appeared to be bleeding from head and body wounds. The blood around them had already started to dry, and neither man appeared to be alive. The chase helicopter then began to receive small arms fire, and had to leave the site. Another UH-1H sent to the crash site was also able to hover a few feet above the downed helicopter, but was unable to land. This crew also reported that two bodies were lying face up in a crumpled position. It appeared that the crew had been hit with ground fire after leaving the aircraft. Enemy positions in this area were extremely well-fortified and continued firing, even after receiving numerous air strikes. Friendly ground troops were unable to get to the crash site because of enemy activity. [Narrative taken from pownetwork.org; image from wikipedia.org]MORE
Remembering An American HeroPosted on 2/28/14 - by Curt Carter firstname.lastname@example.orgDear 1LT Ronald Lester Babcock, sirMORE
As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.
May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.
With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir
"Always Remember"Posted on 1/12/14 - by Robert GunnarsonRon and I served in Vietnam at the same time. We were both born in 1945. I did not know Ron but Michael O'Donnell, another MIA, wrote a poem before his death "If You Are Able". I have spent the last 43 years trying to live the words of that poem for Ron and others like him. I will continue to wear his bracelet until he returns home.MORE
1LT Infantry RBN 197-1971
"Always Remember"Posted on 1/12/14
For Your MotherPosted on 10/4/13 - by Christine HouserI made a rubbing of your name from The Wall on 9-11-13. My son had bought your MIA bracelet fourteen years ago when we visited The Wall on a trip to Washington. He wanted someone from Arizona and found out you were from Tucson. As I prepared for this recent trip, I located your mother in Tucson, now age 91 and called her. We had a great visit as she told me all about you, your childhood, school years and firefighting summers. I was so saddened to hear you had received a "dear John" letter. She told me how the Army contacted her and your sister for a DNA sample two years ago, Then, they left her hanging, never giving her any information about the results of their request. I was disgusted for her. What a terrible thing to do to a mother. Shame on you...USARMY.MORE
Seeing your name on The Wall, was an honor for me. My own father, age 91 and husband were with me, as we left flowers at the base of panel 4. Thank you for your sacrifice for all of us still living. How I wish you had made it home to your mom and family. You will always be a part of our family, with your bracelet on display each time we gather for Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. Though we never met, we have some things in common. My nephew graduated from NAU with the same degree you have. He and my son are now fire fighters in Arizona. Ron, you will always be remembered.
Salute to a HeroPosted on 10/8/12 - by Ed Cardon
I did not know 1LT Babcock but I pray for him and all the other MIAs and their families. May they be reunited with one another in their lifetimes or the next. May the Lord grant you and your family the peace which we all hope to find when we are called to our Maker.
My Promise to JudyPosted on 7/1/10 - by The Chisel email@example.comYou don't know me Ron, but Judy is a neighbor of mine online. With the 4th of July coming up, she mentioned you. I wanted to thank you for the life that you gave to keep us all safe. There is always a special place for men like you. PeaceMORE
NATIVE AMERICAN PRAYERPosted on 6/4/04 - by Chris Spencer firstname.lastname@example.orgIt is said a man hasn't died as long as he is remembered. This prayer is a way for families, friends and fellow veterans to remember our fallen brothers and sisters. Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight, I am the stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not dieMORE
Never ForgottenPosted on 2/27/04 - by Jon PorterI am a student from Gridley High School and as part of a US History posting project, we are leaving remembraces for all the people who don’t have them. I just want to thank you for paying the supreme sacrifice for your country and you will never be forgotten.MORE
Not ForgottenPosted on 2/9/03 - by Candace LokeyI have not forgotten you. I chair the Adoption Committee for The National League of Families of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action in Southeast Asia. We will always remember the 1,889 Americans still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia and the thousands of others that lost their lives. We will not stop our efforts until all of you are home where you belong.MORE
We need to reach the next generation so that they will carry on when our generation is no longer able. To do so, we are attempting to locate photographs of all the missing. If you are reading this remembrance and have a photo and/or memory of this missing American that you would like to share for our project, please contact me at:
PO Box 206
Freeport, PA 16229
If you are not familiar with our organization, please visit our web site at :
Ron's Last Day Home--Thanksgiving Day 1970Posted on 12/29/01 - by Ellen BabcockRonald Lester Babcock was born October 8, 1945 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Ron was six months old when we moved from Nebraskas to Denver, Colorado. His early years were spent in Florida, Kansas, and Arizona. The Babcock family moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1956.MORE
Ron attended grade school at Cavett School, Utterback Junior High, and graduated from Rincon High School in 1963. During the summer between his Junior and Senior years at Rincon High School, he worked for
the United States Forestry Service as a Lookout for fires from the high tower. He got caught between two fires and had to be airlifted by helicopter.
Ron knew he wanted to be in the forestry service, and attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. He received his BSM degree in Forestry in 1968. While in college, he received his draft notice from the
United States Army.
During the summers while in college, Ron served as a Crew Chief with the U.S. Forestry Service. He supervised a team of Native Americans in the Flagstaff area. The crew thought highly of him and made him
a blood brother. When his men learned that he had been drafted, they presented him with an Eagle feather. Among Native Americans, the Eagle is a protector and a symbol of Our Creator. It was their prayer that
the Eagle feather would be a protector to him, a white man. He was also presented with a special prayer, one that had been passed man to man upon return stateside. The prayer had been carried by several of his crew who had already completed their tours in Vietnam, and each man had returned
home safely. Ron had purchased a special knife to carry with him while in Vietnam. He spent endless hours sharpening the knife, vowing that if he were captured, he would never be taken alive. Sadly, the Eagle feather, the special
prayer, and the knife were stolen prior to Ron being shot down.
Ron completed five years of college. After graduation from NAU, Ron served ninety days at Jasper, Arkansas with the United States Forestry Service. When the U.S. Forestry Service learned that Ron was Missing-in-Action, they
informed the Babcock family that his position with the Service would be held for a period of five years.
Ron left for Vietnam on December 1, 1970. He was the pilot of an O6. He was in-country three months when the incident occurred. Ron and his Observer, Fred Mooney, were involved in a combat mission in Laos, when the chopper was hit by
heavy enemy fire by five 51mm guns. Ron and Fred were seen leaving the site of the crash.
Ron is the oldest of three children born to Lester and Ellen Marie Babcock. His younger siblings are Diana and Richard.
Ron was a credit to his family and to the United States Army.
Ron's father, Lester, passed away in 1987, while still waiting to learn of Ron's fate. Lester had served twenty-nine years in the military. He began his career with the United States Cavalry in Washington, D.C. After being discharged from the U.S. Cavalry, he later enlisted
in the United States Air Force at Bakersfield, California, earning his wings at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona in March 1945. He left the U.S. Air Force in 1946. The family moved to Tucson, Arizona in August 1956. He joined the Air National Guard in 1958 and retired in 1980.
In the photograph, Ron is standing at our front door on Thanksgiving Day 1970. We were on our way to take him to the Tucson Airport . He was enroute to Los Angeles, to spend the remaining holiday with his sister, Diana. Ron shipped out from San Francisco the next day for Vietnam.
I have been actively involved in the POW-MIA issue for the past thirty years, seeking answers to the fate of my son and our other unrepatriated prisoners of war/missing-in-action.
The United States Government has only provided conflicting reports concerning the incident of February 27, 1971.
I have said previously that Ron had nine lives. When he was six years old, I nearly lost him from a ruptured appendix. On Christmas Day at the age of eight, he fell from a tree house, dropping twenty feet. When he was ten years old, he was shot in the right eye with a BB gun, which left a permanet hole in his eye.
I thought, perhaps, this would certainly prevent him from serving in the military. It didn't.
I am not a person who knows much about metaphysics. However, on February 27, 1972, a Metaphysical Minister told me that Ron was a victim of amnesia. In time, the amnesia would clear and that Ron would try to find his way home. Over the years, I have attempted to obtain information regarding mental or amnesiac cases from the Vietnam Conflict, without success.
In 1971, I wrote a letter to the United States Army requesting specific information regarding the helicopter crash. In that letter I requested that the six men who had flown over the crash site contact me. I am still waiting to hear from these six men.
I have Ronald's MIA braceltPosted on 4/20/01I just started wearing his MIA tag, it means a lot to me, if any one knows anything about him please email me so i can find out morre about him!!! my address ie email@example.comMORE
MIA bracelet in museum in Glendale,AZPosted on 2/13/01 - by Beckie TesarThe American Museum of Nursing
Ron I do RememberPosted on 5/15/99 - by Donald Fineran firstname.lastname@example.orgI attended helicopter flight training with Ron and have photographs of him while we were in training. He was flying a Loach in the Lam Son action in Laos when he was shot down. His body was never found. I have read about his being shot down in a book about the Lam Son invasion. My brother-in-law, Don Latham of Alexander, Iowa (who also was in our flight class) visited Ron's parents in Arizona after returning from his tour in 1971. I remember Ron having a big mug on which he had printed "Born to Die". Ron I will remember you and your sacrifice, God rest your soul.MORE
Cpt, US Army
C Co. 158th Aviation Battalion
101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)
The Wall of Faces
Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.
All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit www.buildthecenter.org.