Ron Stachevich was born September 5, 1936 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up against the backdrop of World War Two and the emerging Cold War, and when he finished high school he resolved to join and do his part. Ron dreamed of becoming a pilot so he chose the air force, and headed off to basic training at Fort Sampson in upstate New York. As he was at first too young to be considered for pilot training, an air force recruiter had urged to consider radar as a speciality. Ron was initially assigned to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, a base where B-47s were stationed. Ron tracked civilian and military aircraft from the radar station on the local peninsula, where he was confronted by the large number of local rattlesnakes. After time there he was shipped way up to the Pine Tree Line in Newfoundland, where he spent time as part of the 641st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron at Goose Bay. Ron had many interesting experiences there, from an incident tracking a bogey – which turned out to be a U2 spy plane – to UFOs to softball during a snowstorm. Ron served 4 years in the air force and his term came up in 1957 he returned to civilian life, taking advantage of the GI Bill and attending the University of Pittsburgh for a time. He maintained his connections to the military through a number of veterans’ organizations, including the Veterans Breakfast Club, who facilitate this interview from June 2022.
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