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First Name: Juan

Last Name: Ridout

Birthplace: Corpus Christi, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Miguel

Date of Birth: 25 June 1972

Date of Death: 22 February 2002

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served:
Juan Miguel Ridout

•  Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) (2001 - present)


Juan Miguel "Jokester" Ridout
Staff Sergeant, U. S. Air Force - Pararescueman

Juan Miguel Ridout was born on 25 June 1972 in Corpus Christi, TX. He lost his mother, Francisca, to cancer before he started kindergarten. Juan and his sister spent much of their childhood moving to different towns and schools around the world with their father, a U.S. Navy Seaman.

Military Service

Air Force Staff Sergeant Ridout was assigned to the 353rd Special Tactics Squadron, based at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Ridout was killed in an MH-47E crash during a training exercise on 22 February 2002. His helicopter crashed after dropping off Special Forces troops and equipment on Basilan Island, about 550 miles south of Manila, Philippines. It plummeted into high seas and exploded.

Juan's co-workers fondly remembered him as the unit's jokester, one who enjoyed his job and had a love for life. Juan was an expert swimmer, parachutist, demolitions technician and paramedic and was named his Special Forces Squadron's Pararescueman of the Year in 1999 for his heroism.

In May 1999 he exchanged gunfire with Serbian forces as he rescued a pilot whose F-16 had been shot down by an enemy missile deep inside hostile territory. Juan was a very modest man who never once bragged or boasted about his combat mission in Bosnia or the warrior's rack (medals and awards) on his uniform. He never talked about the great things he had done.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Juan Miguel Ridout was killed in a helicopter crash at sea on 22 February 2002. His body was recovered and he is buried at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, TX.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:
He was the unit's jokester, one who enjoyed his job and had a love for life.

Honoree ID: 2195   Created by: MHOH




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