RONALD D. Jr.
Ronald D. Young Jr.
Synopsis: Thirteen Longbows from the 6th Squadron, an Apache unit from Illesheim, Germany, flew into the area south of Baghdad on Sunday night to attack military targets associated with the Iraqi Republican Guard. Along with them were 18 Longbows from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment out of Fort Hood, Texas. It was the first battle for the Longbow, a late-’90s update of the 20-year-old Apache, the Army’s only attack helicopter.
According to Stars and Stripes, their first battle wasn’t as successful as hoped: Although all except one of the aircraft returned home battered but safe, all had bullet holes. One helicopter from the 1-227 Aviation was forced down. The 6-6 Cavalry and 1-227 Aviation took off after dark to attack two separate targets in the same area south of Baghdad. The Fort Hood aircraft arrived first and actually destroyed several military vehicles before the ground fire got too severe — bringing down one helicopter.
The Apache helicopter with two on board went down in Karbala, about 60 miles southwest of Baghdad. The attack chopper which Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young and Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams were piloting, was forced down in central Iraq while on a mission in support of coalition ground troops.
Reports state two
attempts to rescue the two pilots failed under withering arms fire from
enemy forces. Following capture, Young and Williams were both shown on
Iraqi television in apparently good condition. Five other captive
Prisoners of War were also shown earlier on Iraqi TV.
graduated from Douglas County High School in Douglasville, GA. He
studied mechanical engineering at Southern Polytechnic State University
in Marietta, for two years before enlisting in the Army at Ft. Knox, KY
in July 1999.
advanced helicopter training at Ft. Rucker, AL, he was assigned to the
Army's 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood. He'd
receiving deployment orders for the war against terror in Afghanistan
just after September 11, 2001, but the orders were canceled before he
had to go.
of pilot Ron Young's cousins is married to Todd Greene, a catcher/first
baseman with the Texas Rangers.
to local reporters, Young's mother, Kaye, said she had a foreboding
feeling Sunday evening and feared something horrible had happened to her
son. Young said she started worrying earlier in the day when she saw
televised video of a fallen Apache helicopter that had the bat-wing
insignia of her son's unit, the "Vampires" – so called
because they usually fly at night.
had told me if he was ever asked to give his life for his country, he
hoped that he'd be able to do that honorably -- and he seemed very glad
to do that, if that was needed," Kaye Young said.
Ronald Young Sr. said his son was living out his dream of being a pilot. The Young’s hadn’t seen their son since January.
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 13, 2003 DoD officials identified the seven American prisoners of war found in northern Iraq
today as five members of the 507th Maintenance Company and two Apache helicopter pilots.
Two of the seven have suffered gunshot wounds but are in good shape, said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Officials woke up President Bush with the good news this morning. He held an impromptu press availability at the
White House. "Today is a great day for the families, comrades, loved ones of the seven missing in action who are
free," he said.
The five soldiers from the 507th are Sgt. James J. Riley, 31, of Pennsauken, N.J.; Spc. Shoshana N. Johnson, 30, of
El Paso, Texas; Spc. Edgar A. Hernandez, 21, of Mission, Texas; Spc. Joseph N. Hudson, 23, of Alamogordo, N.M.; and
Pfc. Patrick W. Miller, 23, of Walter, Kan.
The two Apache pilots, Chief Warrant Officers David S. Williams and Ronald D. Young, are members of the 1st
Battalion, 227th Aviation at Fort Hood, Texas.
The 507th members had been captured when their convoy took a wrong turn and was ambushed in Nasiriyah March 23. The
pilots had been captured near Karbala on March 23.
Marines moving up for an attack on Tikrit were tipped off to the presence of American POWs by Iraqis, said U.S.
Central Commander chief Army Gen. Tommy Franks on CNN's "Late Edition."
The Marines moved into the area and found the soldiers walking along a road near Samarra. They flew the former
POWs to an airfield in southern Iraq and transferred them to a C-130 transport plane. They were then moved to Kuwait
for medical treatment and an intelligence debriefing.
Rescued POW Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, now being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., is
also a member of the 507th, which is based in Fort Bliss, Texas. Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital April 2.
The president said the United States will keep looking for American service members still missing in Iraq. "We pray
that they too will be safe and free one of these days," he said. But it's just a good way to start off the morning, to
have been notified that seven of our fellow Americans are going to be home here pretty soon in the arms of their