MSgt John W. Ryon was killed on 21 November 1972, when the EC-47 aircraft tail number 43-49711, call-sign BARON 56, on which he was serving as an Airborne Radio Communications Analyst, crashed at Nakhon Phanom RTAB, Thailand. It was his first mission aboard an EC-47 aircraft.
MSgt Ryon was born 29 August 1929, in New London, Connecticut and graduated from Stonington High School, Connecticut in 1947.
MSgt Ryon enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on 12 August 1948. After basic training, he served in the firefighter career field. In January 1959, MSgt Ryon retrained into the Radio Communications Analyst career field. After technical training at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, he served at the 6918th Radio Squadron Mobile, Hakata AS, Japan and the 6927th Security Squadron, Onna Point, Okinawa. July 1967, MSgt Ryon returned to Goodfellow AFB as an instructor in the Radio Communications Analyst course. In 1972, he was reassigned to Det 3, 6994th Security Squadron, Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.
MSgt Ryon’s awards and decorations include the Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), Berlin Airlift Device, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal.
On 1 December 1976, Goodfellow AFB, Texas honored MSgt Ryon’s memory by dedicating a dormitory in his name.
MSgt Rryon’s name is engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Panel 1W, Line 92.