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Oral History interview of Ronald Hearst. Interview conducted by Wiggins, Leanne at University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.


0:40 Early childhood; 1:36 Education growing up; 2:05 Joining the reserves and the Naval Academy; 2:35 Family members in the service; 3:20 Joining the Air Force after leaving the Naval Academy; 4:15 Experience joining the Naval Academy; 5:20 Transitioning from public school to prep school; 6:45 Additional training in missiles in Omaha after joining Air Force; 9:22 Being transferred to various places for missile training before becoming an engineer in Glasgow, Montana; 10:25 Description of his job as an engineer; 11:48 Attended Squadron Officers School then was stationed in England; 13:48 Transitioning to England; 14:45 Being in England during the Cuban Missile Crisis & working with missiles; 16:43 Being stationed in northern England and life there & moving near London; 18:52 Interacting with the British; 20:25 Typical day in England; 22:26 Cuban Missile Crisis experience; 29:41 Leaving England and going to the University of Missouri; 30:22 Transitioning from being on base to graduate school; 31:20 Being called out of graduate school for active duty for Vietnam War; 34:20 Moving to southeast Asia & bringing his family over to Taiwan & Thailand; 35:14 How his duties changed after graduate school and life in Asia; 37:34 Arriving in Thailand and life in U-Tapao; 39:54 Interacting with the Thais (civilian and military) on a daily basis; 42:18 Typical day in Thailand; 45:51 Description of Bachelor Officer's Quarters (BOQ); 47:13 Communicating home while in Thailand; 49:20 Describes his most memorable moment in Thailand - the death of a young Thai boy who was accidentally killed on-site and the burial issues; 55:35 End of Part 1 of Interview; 56:14 Leaving Thailand, going to the States for a brief period, then being stationed in Taipei, Taiwan and bringing his family overseas; 58:24 Experience in Diplomatic School; 1:00:33 Returning to the states after being in Thailand for a year; 1:05:12 Problems with communicating overseas. 1:05:43 Arriving in Taiwan and first impressions of Taiwan; 1:06:10 Experience with the taking of the USS Pueblo while he was in Asia; 1:07:24 Trying to get to South Korea to teach troops to do revetments after taking of the USS Pueblo.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Albany (N.Y.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State

New York

War or Conflict

Vietnam Era



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Air Force

Unit of Service

Gnd Elect. Off. SMS, Offutt AFB; Const. Eng. 4141 Civil Eng. Sq. Glasgow AFB Mont.; Authentication Off. Det. 5, 99 Mun. Maint. Sq. Driffield England; Const. Eng. 556 Red Horse Sq. U-Tapao Afld. Thailand; Civil Eng. Det. 4, 1131 USAF HQ.CMD. Taipei Taiwan, Chief of O &M 1400 CES Scott AFB Ill. Civil Eng. 1605 CES Lajes Fld. Azores

Location of Service

Omaha (Neb.); Glasgow (Mont.); England; Taiwan; Thailand

Highest Rank

Lieutenant Colonel; LtCol

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Bronze Star Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Commendation Medal


Missile Launch Officer, Cuban Missile Crisis; Combat Construction Officer Thailand; Chief Facilities Maintenance and Master Planning Branch, J-4 Headquarters Military Assistance Advisory Group, Republic of China; Chief Engineering Section, Military Airlift Command, Office of Inspector General


Not applicable

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Wiggins, Leanne

Interview Date


Location of Interview

University of Central Florida Orlando, FL.


Hearst, Ronald A.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Air Force

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Wiggins, Leanne

Length of Interview

137 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type