Ronald Wilson was born in 1929 and was raised in Burbank, CA during the great depression and WWII. Two silver stars hung in the front window representing his two older brothers who were fighting in the war. Thankfully both returned. Based on their experiences, they advised Ron to enlist before getting drafted into the infantry during the Korean War. He took their advice and after two years of college at USC, applied for, and was accepted into the USAF Officer Pilot Training program in 1951. Training included a year in T-33, T-6, and T-28 aircraft, at Columbus, Perrin, and Webb Air Force Bases. He received his wings and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Aviation Cadet Class 52-D, a proud “Dogger” and qualified in gunnery school flying the F-80 and F-86.
In October 1952, he was deployed to Korea as part of the 51st Fighter Interceptor Group. Before completing the required 100 missions in his Sabre F-86F, he was responsible for one confirmed kill and one probable kill of enemy MiG 15 aircraft. An excerpt from his Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
“Lt. Wilson moved into firing position and from a range of 2,000 feet, inflicted heavy damage to both wings and the fuselage of the enemy aircraft. He was forced to break off his attack when the MiG’s violent evasive actions carried him across the Yalu River. By his exceptional performance and superior airmanship, Lt. Wilson assured the probable destruction of the enemy MiG-15. In this action and throughout his tour with the Far East Command, Lt. Wilson has brought great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”
In addition to the Distinguished Flying Cross, he was awarded the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.
During his post-war civilian career in aviation insurance, he did everything in a manner which exemplified the USAFA motto. Large, complicated policies were sometimes agreed upon with a hand shake. But when details looked tenuous, Ron worked tirelessly to ensure his promises were kept. Integrity first. He always looked out for the wellbeing of his clients and colleagues by mentoring new agents and seamlessly transitioning his business before retiring to his vineyard. Service before self. And on occasion he was asked, “Ron, are you sure you can do this?” when he successfully put together business so complicated, that even the insurance company executives wondered if it could be accomplished. Excellence in all we do.
He was an OUTSTANDING airman, husband, father, grandfather, businessman, and American. For these reasons, his wife Mrs. Sharon Wilson, grandmother of C4C Beckett Andersen, proudly makes a donation of $2022 in the name of her late husband, USAF 1st Lt. Ronald Wilson, thus joining the Class of 2022 Spirit Mission Co-Pilot’s Club.