Ron Alexander was born in 1942 in Bloomington, Indiana. At the age of 14, he took his first airplane ride in a military C-119 as a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Shortly after that flight he began flying with other CAP members in a PA.-18. When Ron was 16 years old, he soloed an Aeronca Champ. Ron worked at the Bloomington, Indiana airport during high school and obtained his private license at age 17. He entered Indiana University in 1960 while working for a fixed base operator to obtain his commercial license. Ron enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program and was accepted into the flight training program. He graduated from Indiana University as a Distinguished Military Graduate in the ROTC program. Ron used the allotted flying time for ROTC students to obtain his instructor’s rating.
Ron began instructing in light aircraft in 1962 and did so for 2 years. During that same period of time, he flew as co-pilot on a C-45 and a DC-3 for Indiana University. After graduating from Indiana University School of Business in 1964, he entered the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. He received his primary flight school training at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas. After graduation from flight school Ron was assigned to the Military Air Transport Service flying C-130E aircraft to virtually every continent in the world. In November, 1966, Ron was assigned to South Viet Nam to fly the C-7 Caribou supporting the Marine Corps and the Army Special Forces. He was based in Danang located in the I Corps area of Viet Nam. For most of his flying time, he flew in the area around the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in support of Army Special Forces units and the Marine Corps. The missions were varied and included medevac, resupply, and troop transport.