377th SPS, Tan Son Nhut
14 APR 1970, Non Hostile: Illness/Disease:
"Non-Hostile: Illness/Disease: Brain-stem contusion."

Memorial Name Engraving Pending.

by Pat Houseworth

I thank the VSPA and the gentlemen who run it everyday for the memories, both good and bad, it rekindles in my mind. Looking this Good Friday Morning, I noticed the name of one Ronald McDonald dying at TSN, it happened sometime overnight on the April 13th and 14th C Flight Shift.

I remember Ronald, although some of my facts may not be 100% correct, comes with age and my memory fading, just a little. McDonald a black kid from NY City with the funny name, worked C-Flight Security for the 377th, he had not been in country very long. I had just switched over from Security to the newly formed Resource Protection Flight(Blue Patrol they called us....a collection of trouble makers who didn't take orders very well or keep our hair cut, shoes shined, etc, etc, we were a real group of F-UPS and we loved it)... my job as one of the few 3 stripes, was to drive my jeep around with coffee, smokes, apples and other fruit to check on the guys and keep them awake....I often stopped to chat with the K-9s and their handlers... if I remember mostly the dogs were better conversationlists... lol! only kidding. I also stopped and talked with the guys on the security entry points on occasion....Ronald the kid with the funny name was one of those who I chatted with more than once, since we shared the same barracks....I remember that April 14th morning sitting at the NCO Club having a morning beer(many of us did after midnight shift) or 3, when we got the word that McDonald had been found dead at his post. We had lost a brother, and we were all the lesser for that.

2 1/2 months later I was home, Ronald McDonald, the kid from NY City with the funny name, never made it. I think of him on these occasions, and realize how lucky those of us that are here really are.

Pat Houseworth
14th SPS Nha Trang
377th SPS Tan Son Nhut


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