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RONALD R. JENSEN
November 22, 1926 ~ October 11, 2013
Ronald R. Jensen made his final flight West on Oct. 11, 2013. He was born Nov. 22, 1926 in Boise, ID to Arthur and Mary Isabel Jensen. Ron grew up with six siblings, three older brothers, Clarence, Ralph and Harold, two older sisters, Edna and Ruth, and a twin brother, Donald. The family was unique since all five of the sons served their country honorably in the Army before and/or during World War II.
Ron and his brother, Don, were drafted out of high school into the Army in January 1945, and went through Infantry Training at Camp Roberts, CA. After completing training, he was shipped to the Island of Leyte in the Philippine Islands as the war ended. After returning to the states on Jan. 3, 1946, he spent the remainder of his commitment to the Army at the Presidio of San Francisco in a Transportation Corps Car Company. He was honorably discharged from the Army Nov. 29, 1946.
Ron's early interest in life was airplanes. After World War II, on Dec. 1, 1948, he obtained his Commercial Pilot License. To further his flight experience, he joined the United States Air Force Aviation Cadet Program and received his Commission and Pilot Wings on May 12, 1950.
Ron's assignment out of flight school was to the Pacific Division of MATS (Military Air Transport Service) at Hikam AFB, Hawaii with 60 days TDY in route to Great Falls AFB, Montana, to attend C-54 Co-pilot training. The C-54 was the military designation for the Douglas DC-4 airliner. On June 25, 1950, the Korean War started. Upon arrival in Hawaii, Ron was assigned on Aug. 2, 1950 to the 1268th Air Transport Squadron. On Jan. 6, 1951, he was reassigned to the 1266th Air Transport Squadron.
The squadron flew the Boeing Model 377. The airlines called this model the "Stratocruiser". MATS called the airplane the C-97 "Stratofreighter". By orders dated May 17, 1953, Ron became an Aircraft Commander. Because he had refused an indefinite Reserve Commission in the Air Force, he was separated from active duty as of July 31, 1953 as the Korean War cease fire was signed.
Ron had flown to almost every island in the northern Pacific Ocean and as far East as the state of Georgia. Most MATS flights out of Tokyo, Japan carried the wounded and frozen soldiers from the Korean War to California via Honolulu, Hawaii. He flew additional hours which included local check flights and test hops. Not all flights were without mishap, such as an engine fire and being on Wake Island during a typhoon that almost blew the island away!
Ron, in his off-duty hours from flying, had time to meet Addie, an island girl who stole his heart away and accepted his proposal of marriage. They were married Feb. 2, 1952. Over the years, the family grew with a boy (William), a girl (Ray Ellen) and a boy (Donald).
Ron returned to school and graduated with Honors in Aeronautics. He went to work for the Marquardt Corporation in Van Nuys, CA in the flight test group testing ramjet engines on the Lockheed S7A-3 pilotless vehicle. When that contract ended, he tested the 100 thrust rocket motor that was used on the Service and the Lunar Modules of the rocket that took the men to the moon. That contract ended with the termination of many engineers from several Southern California companies.
Ron finished his working career in the Real Estate industry as a Certified Property Manager managing both people and property.
He is a LIFE MEMBER of the VETERANS MEMORIAL MUSEUM, located in Chehalis, WA. He is also a member of the QUIET BIRDMEN.
Ron is survived by his loving wife, Addie; and his three children, Bill (Cheryl), Ray Ellen and Don (Dee Dee).
Interment for family members only.
Please sign his guestbook at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on Oct. 25, 2013