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~SOLD~RITCHIE RICHARD S

RITCHIE, RICHARD S. USAF

Only USAF ace of Vietnam war.

Victories: 5 (all MiG -21s) with 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron



Brigadier General Richard Stephen "Steve" Ritchie



(born June 25, 1942 in Reidsville, North Carolina) was an officer in the United States Air Force and the Colorado Air National Guard, and a general officer in the Air Force Reserve. Ritchie joined Navy Cmdr. Randy Cunningham as the only pilots among the five American aces during the Vietnam War. Ritchie is a recipient of the Air Force Cross, the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Air Force.

Ritchie entered pilot training at Laredo Air Force Base. Assigned to the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing flying F-4 Phantom II at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam in 1968, Ritchie flew the first "Fast FAC" mission in the F-4 forward air controller program and was instrumental in the spread and success of the program. He completed 195 combat missions.

In 1969, he was selected to attend the Fighter Weapons Course at Nellis Air Force Base. Nevada, becoming, up to that point, the Air Force Fighter Weapons School's youngest-ever instructor at age 26. He taught air-to-air tactics from 1970 to 1972 to the best USAF pilots, including Major Robert Lodge, who later became his flight leader in Thailand and himself shot down three MiGs.

Ritchie volunteered for a second combat tour in 1972 and was assigned to the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. Flying F-4 Phantom IIs with the famed 555th ("Triple Nickel") Tactical Fighter Squadron he shot down his first MiG-21 on 10 May 1972, scored a second victory on May 31, a third and fourth on July 8, and a fifth on August 28. All of the aircraft he shot down were Mig-21s, and all were shot down by the much-maligned AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided air-to-air missile. Ritchie became the United States Air Force's first and only pilot ace of the Vietnam War.



DEDICATED BLACK & WHITE PHOTO 5 x 7 inches SHOWING HIM EMERGE FROM AC AT UDORN BASE AFTER HIS 5TH VICTORY AUGUST 28TH 1972


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