I deployed with Peter Pittman, Don Heiliger, and Dave Burney to Korat in April 1967 in F-105Fs from the 35th TFS at Yokota. Heiliger and Burney were from the 80th TFS. We were the first deployment of Ryan's Raiders to Korat. Major Ralph Kuster was designated the Squadron Commander of the RR's by Colonel Chairsell, the 388th TFW Commander.
Peter Pitman and Bob Stewart didn't return from a Ryan Raider Mission to Pack 1 or 2 shortly after we arrived and I have never heard if their crash site was ever found.
After 16 Ryan Raider Missions I went to day strike in the 34th TFS and finished my 100 Missions (Al Nelson was finishing up and George Clausen became the Squadron Commander).
Dave Forgan was the Back Seater and finished his 100th in the 469th. Peter Pitman and I had deployed earlier TDY to Takhli in 1966, 354 TFS, to fill in until some PCS pilots arrived.
Donald Heiliger was the pilot and Major Ben Pollard the "GIB" when they were shot down on May 15, 1967. They were flying as part of "Ryan's Raiders" out of Korat.
They were flying a night low level bombing run on railroad marshalling yards 30 miles northeast of Hanoi. Either small arms or light AAA set the plane afire. They ejected safely. Heiliger received minimum rib and leg injuries when his parachute caught in a tree. Pollard received many cuts and bruises, and initially was paralyzed from the waist down from back injuries. They were both taken prisoner separately, but met on the way to Hanoi.
Once in captivity, Pollard spent two weeks in (the following are POW prison nicknames) Heartbreak, fourteen months in Desert Inn, Little Las Vegas, two years in Sontay, six more months in Heartbreak, one month in Riviera-Little Las Vegas, and then two years three months in Camp Unity - Hilton. He was tortured while in Cell #18 of New Guy Village.
Donald Heiliger was released on February 18, 1973, and Pollard on March 4th.