Talk:John Dale Ryan
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Ryan was not universally loved. Much of the responsibility for the high losses of the USAF in SEA during 1967-1970 was due to his SAC-doctrine micro-managing of 7AF while commander of PACAF. --Buckboard 05:12, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
He was probably despised by the TAC community, but this article's mention of the Lavelle and Broughton events does neither side any justice. The article states that Ryan
"...was also one of the group that helped destroy General Jack Lavelle's career when General Lavelle gave his fighter pilots permission to shoot back at any bona fide threat, something that had been denied them. "
Ryan may indeed deserve the blame, though it't the author's responsibility to clean this up. People aren't blamed for being involved in wrongdoing but actively taking part in that wrongdoing - what was Ryan's role? Also, did Ryan (and Lavelle's other opponents) agree that the threats as detailed were in fact bonafide? Was there any issue on that subject? It's too easy to say that there wasn't and chalk the whole thing up as another example of the 400 lb. SAC gorilla. Lastly, since the Lavelle controversy involved alleged ROE violations, just how had Ryan have any role at all? The VN air war was supposed to have been micromanaged by politicians - didn't they, rather than blue-suits like Ryan set ROE?
Next, the article refers to Col. Broughton's "affair" - the details can be found in Broughton's "Going Downtown", his follow-up to "Thud Ridge".
"This was also related to the Colonel Jack Broughton affair when that gentleman attempted to protect one of his pilots who shot back at an anti-aircraft position."
A couple of details here - the position was aboard a Soviet freighter that allegedly fired on some of Broughton's men, and the protection Broughton gave his men was destroying gun camera film of the event. I don't know what actions of Ryan the author refers to when he says that the Lavelle and Broughton events were "related". In any event, the author doesn't mention that Broughton's career was effectively ended by a group of officers - only instead of diehard SAC officers, Broughton's judges included Chuck Yeager and Robin Olds. Rather than the actions of his pilots, it was Broughton's actions in destroying the film that sank him.
"The irony is that Col Broughton had to protect the pilot from his own side, and directly from General Ryan."
The irony is that Broughton - in every sense a hero, no doubt in my mind - might have been better off had he protected the film. Reading "Thud Ridge" it sounds like Broughton had no doubt that his pilots were in the right. Destroying the proof that his guys did anything at all sounds like a nifty way to stick it to those flabby SAC guys, but in terms of combat, it's less a frontal assault than a strategic retreat. My guess is that, had he known ahead of time that his actions would result in his never flying tactical again, Broughton might have gone in there with his film and his pilots. He's have been grounded anyway (as Lavelle had been), but when the evidence shows you've got the truth on your side, you don't destroy that evidence.