On August 28, 1972, the U.S. Air Force gets its first ace (a designation traditionally awarded for five enemy aircraft confirmed shot down) since the Korean War. Captain Richard S. Ritchie, flying with his “backseater” (radar intercept officer), Captain Charles B. DeBellevue, in an F-4 out of Udorn Air Base in Thailand, shoots down his fifth MiG near Hanoi.
Two weeks later, Captain DeBellvue, flying with Captain John A. Madden, Jr., shot down his fifth and sixth MiGs.
The U.S. Navy already had two aces, Lieutenants Randall Cunningham and Bill Driscoll.
By this time in the war, there was only one U.S. fighter-bomber base left in South Vietnam at Bien Hoa. The rest of the air support was provided by aircraft flying from aircraft carriers or U.S. bases in Thailand. Also on this date, President Richard M. Nixon announced that the US military draft will end about a year later by July 1973. The draft ended January 27, 1973.