Richard P Geron Jr. Was born in Huntsville, AL and entered the US Air Force in 1950 as an enlisted man. In 1953 he earned his commission as a second lieutenant. From the MacDill Herald: "Captain Richard P Geron, Jr., 47th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 15th Tactical Fighter Wing, MacDill, was presented one of the nation's highest decorations, the Silver Star, and four other high military awards January 29, 1965, by Lt. Gen. Charles B. Westover, vice commander, Tactical Air Command. The captain, a native of Huntsville, AL, earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the third and fourth Oak Leaf Clusters to the Air Medal while serving as an Air Force instructor pilot in Viet Nam. While serving as an advisor pilot of a bomber aircraft over the Republic of South Viet Nam, December 1, 1963, he flew a close air support mission at minimum altitudes over a large concentration of hostile forces who were attacking a friendly village. Although his aircraft sustained severe ground fire, Captain Geron continuously flew low level passes over the Viet Cong until the friendly forces were able to suppress the Viet Cong attack. For his gallantry in action, Captain Geron was awarded the nation's third highest valor award, the Silver Star. Less than a month earlier, the career Air Force officer had piloted a heavily damaged fighter through devastating Viet Cong ground fire. That mission earned Captain Geron the Distinguished Flying Cross." During his career in the US Air Force, Major Richard Geron flew 538 combat missions as a fighter/bomber pilot.