SMSgt Ronald W. Sharp
SMSgt. Ronald W. Sharp joined the U.S. Air Force in May of 1966. His first duty after basic and Loadmaster Technical Training was Pope AFB, NC flying in the C-130E aircraft. He was reassigned to the 345th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taiwan. He was a member of a Formation Lead Qualified crew and qualified in Low Altitude Parchute Extraction System deliveries, a very dangerous mission. He also qualified in Nuclear Material Airlift and was an Instructor Loadmaster. He flew 409 combat missions in Vietnam while assigned to CCK AB.
Sharp also received a Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary Achievement while participating in Aerial Flight for missions flown into Ka-Shan Valley, February 4, 1968 to February 6, 1968. His aircraft took several rounds of ground fire each day.
Sharp received his second Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism while participating in Aerial Flights in May 1, 1968. He off loaded mortar shells at KHE-SANH while the aircraft was under intense mortar fire. The mortar fire took out the helicopter next to his aircraft, the last C-130 on the ramp. The Aircraft Commander was leaving before Sharp was complete with his ERO, Sharp continued to push the load until it left the air craft, he almost went out the air craft with the load when the plane lifted off. SMSgt. Sharp caught his self on the post of the ramp, hanging on for his life when the navigator finally came back at 5000 feet to check on him, the ramp and door were still open. The navigator closed the ramp and door and pulled Sharp down from the post he was hanging on. Ground fire took out the air craft hydraulic system, Sharp had to crank down the main landing gear for landing.
After CCK AB he was reassigned to the 436th Aerial Port Squadron at Dover AFB, Delaware where he flew in C-133 and C-141 aircrafts. Sharp left the military in 1970 for college, returning in 1971 when he was assigned to the 75th Military Airlift Squadron at Travis AFB, CA fling in the C-5 as Initial Cadre for the newly developed aircraft. SMSgt. Sharp once again left the service to became a licensed General Contractor, but soon realized the Air Force was his true calling. He rejoined in June of 1980 and was assigned to his previous unit, the 75th MAS and later the 60th Airlift Control Element where he performed classified worldwide missions.
SMSGT Sharp was reassigned to the 435th Airlift Control Squadron in Rhein Main, Germany where he served as Superintendent from 1990-1991. During this time he deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM serving as Military Airlift Command subject matter expert for planning and loading foreign transport aircraft, supporting U.S. wartime operations. He personally surveyed airfields in Czechoslovakia providing operational flexibility and saving hundreds of flying hours. He also became the Military Airlift command expert on the Russian AN-124 aircraft as he loaded the Dutch Patriot Missile system on four AN-124 aircrafts. SMSgt. Sharp organized and hosted the phase ll deployment planning conference resulting in the rapid deployment of over 68,000 army personnel from 7 different airfields in Germany.
In 1991 Sharp was re-assigned to Little Rock AFB in Arkansas where he served as a Superintendent in the 314th ALCS, the 53 MAS and Chief Loadmaster of the 314th Airlift Wing.
Additionally SMSgt Sharp coordinated with the Family Support center and established an information clearinghouse to ensure the personal needs of the families deployed members were met.
When Senior Master Sergeant Sharp retired he had served 29 years, 9 months and 25 days. He had flown more than 7800 hours in service of his nation. He had over 50 combat drop missions and 450 combat missions while in Vietnam. He was the highest Decorated Airman alive in the Air Force.
SMSGT Sharp continues to serve the local community as a active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Rock Chapter of Professional Loadmaster Association.
SMSgt Ronald Wayne Sharp, US Air Force. Military awards include:
Air Force Achievement Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medals with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver Star Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Training Ribbon, Air Force Overseas Longevity Service Award with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Campaign Service Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, AF Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Overseas Short Tour Ribbon and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
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