Richard Ritchie ("Steve"). Biography. Fighting. Ranks. Photo.
Richard Ritchie ("Steve"). Biography. Fighting. Ranks. Photo.

Richard Ritchie ("Steve"). Biography. Fighting. Ranks. Photo.



Many wanted to become pilots aces with childhood-adolescence, but Steve was an exception - a career pilot, he was not even thinking. But things are changing, Ritchie entered the USAF military service and received at the end of 1962 qualified pilot. The first combat experience he got in Vietnam, flying a "phantom". Further, the city 1972, 3000 hours about the incident, Richard returned for a second term.

Richard Ritchie ("Steve"). Biography. Combat action. Ranks. A photo. 1


2 first victory over the fighter MiG-21 he won 10 and 31 May. July 8 Ritchie led a unit, providing a route of escape, the task was to protect the retreating forces of the shock. One "Phantom" at high altitude was damaged by missiles for-13, another "Phantom" at the same time he is out of order.

Returning, they delivered a message about his situation, course and altitude, it was not a good idea, North Vietnamese troops were ready to respond. Richard turned his unit to assist, to go down to 5000 feet. When approaching Banana Valley, a little south-west of Hanoi, he received a message that the MiGs caught them on sight and are preparing to launch rockets. Ritchie picked up sharply to the left, after a few seconds MiGs came back:

Richard Ritchie ("Steve"). Biography. Combat action. Ranks. A photo. 2


"We flew at a speed of 600 miles per hour at a distance of 1000 feet of each other. It was a silver MiG-21, I did not see the second, but he knew that he was there".


Richard made a horizontal "barrel" and flew down to the second Miguén flying in 8000 feet behind the lead. As they passed, he turned, turned and spotted overtaking MiG. Ritchie fulfilled vector "barrel", coming from behind at a distance of 6000 feet. Ritchie pulled the trigger twice, by the time the MiG approached.

The first missile hit the target. Following maneuvers Richard, his flight was over, and at that time the leading MiG-21 performed a U-turn and went to the tail Fizelu Tommy, who flew the fourth. MiG Ritchie was right, but he did not at first able to detect it:


"When I was discharged in the plane was burning, immediately crossed the circle in the direction where presumably was the MiG. Flying through the circle, surely caught him on sight."

Richard Ritchie ("Steve"). Biography. Combat action. Ranks. A photo. 3


The MiG, having lost interest in Feasel, changed course by 180 degrees and flew down to Ritchie. The American launched the missile from 3000 feet away from the enemy. And I got it! The fight lasted about two minutes. A couple more MiGs flew on their own course, but Richard pulled out of the battle, by that time he had run out of fuel and missiles.

In the spring of 1974 Ritchie retired. He engaged in politics and business.


View other military pilots 

Blog and articles