Name: Ronald Leslie Bond
Rank/Branch: 03/US Air Force
Unit: 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: 14 December 1947
Home City of Record: Haddonfield CT
Date of Loss: 30 September 1971
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 160500N 1063300E (XD619099)
Status (In 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel in Incident:
Michael L. Donovan (missing)
Compiled by Homecoming II Project 31 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
Michael L. Donovan was born November 9, 1944 in Huntington Park, California. His family later moved to Norton, Kansas, where he graduated from Norton Community High School in 1962. He was married before entering Fort Hays State College where he graduated in 1966 with a degree in Agriculture.
In the summer of 1966, Mike entered the Air Force and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He received training in Texas and Florida and in 1968 became a pilot of the F-4 Phantom jet. Mike was promoted to Captain while serving an overseas tour in Japan.
In January, 1971, Mike left for his last assignment in South Vietnam, and was stationed at Da Nang Airfield with the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron.
Ronald L. Bond was born in Camden, New Jersey on December 14, 1947. He grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey. At the age of 12, Ron was on the Haddonfield Little League team that went to the New Jersey finals. In that same year he was Middle Atlantic AAU, 12 and under Diving Champion and a tri-county swimming and diving champion. In his high school years at Haddonfield Memorial High School, he was wrestling champion in his weight class. When Ron graduated from high school in 1965, he was accepted at the University of Delaware, but was also granted an appointment to the Air Force Academy, which he accepted.
His first assignment after graduating from the Academy in 1969 was navigator school, then training to be "Guy in Back" in the F4 fighter bomber, then an unexpected (and unwanted) assignment to South Korea. Ron did everything he could think of to get a Vietnam assignment, and the orders to go to Vietnam came while he was home just prior to leaving for Korea. With his heavy clothes on their way to Korea and his lighter clothes shipped home to Haddonfield, he left for Da Nang, South Vietnam, arriving there February 6, 1971.
Ron was home again in July, 1971. He was on R & R, but had come home to be fitted with contact lenses so that he could become a pilot. Shortly after his return to Da Nang, Ron began flying Forward Air Controller reconnaissance missions. He was attached to the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
On September 30, 1971, Donovan and Bond teamed up on an operational mission over Laos. On the mission, Donovan was the pilot and Bond the "Guy in Back" (navigator). The pair were on the last leg of their mission having mated up twice with a KC135 (for fuel). The aircraft failed to return on schedule to Da Nang, and after an extensive search, the two men were declared Missing In Action.
Bond and Donovan are two of the nearly 600 men missing in action over Laos. The poorly-negotiated Paris Peace Agreement ending American involvement in Southeast Asia did not address the prisoners of war and missing held in Laos, and no subsequent negotiations ever held to secure their freedom. As a result, even though the Pathet Lao stated publicly that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, not one man held in Laos was released.
Ronald Bond's parents moved to California about a year after his disappearance and remain active in their search for information about their son. They feel there is a possibility their son could be alive and a prisoner. They believe some, perhaps many, Americans are still alive and held prisoner in Southeast Asia. They will not rest until these men are returned and they know the fate of their son.