Ronald "L" Roehrich
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
SYNOPSIS: Lt.JG Warren W. Boles was a pilot assigned to Fighter Squadron 114 onboard the aircraft carrier USS KITTY HAWK. On January 18, 1968, he and his radar intercept officer (RIO), Lt.JG Ron Roehrich launched in their F4B Phantom fighter aircraft as the second plane of a two-plane section. Their assigned mission was as Barrier Combat Air Patrol Mission to protect friendly air and surface units in the Gulf of Tonkin.
The two aircraft were launched independently and proceeded to their assigned station separately. Enroute to the station, Boles established radio contact with his airborne controller and was immediately vectored to investigate an unidentified surface contact in a threatening position in the Gulf. Boles descended through a low overcast and positively identified the contact as a non-hostile, cargo-type ship. Seconds later, radio and radar contact were lost with Bole's aircraft.
Search and rescue helicopters were immediately sent to the scene and confirmed, by a fuel slick and debris, that the aircraft had crashed at sea. Although an exhaustive search was conducted, no survivors were found. The weather at the scene was about 700 feet overcast with low visibility and it was very dark.
Final analysis of the accident concluded that Boles apparently became disoriented while visually tring to identify the surface contact and flying on instruments and inadvertently collided with the water. The Commanding Officer believed that Boles had no warning of his impending crash and that his death was instantaneous.
Boles and Roehrich appear to have perished in the unexplained crash of their aircraft that January day in 1968. They are among nearly 2500 Americans who remain missing or unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Thousands of refugee reports have been received since the war ended which have convinced many authorities that hundreds of these Americans are still alive. While Boles and Roehrich may not be among them, one can imagine their cheerfully accepting one more mission to help guard their flight to safety.
As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must do everything possible to bring him home alive.
POW/MIA Data & Bios supplied by the P.O.W. NETWORK Skidmore, MO. USA