Fallen: March 25, 2007
Petty Officer Third Class Ronald Gill Jr.’s hometown is Cranston, RI. He was a part of the US Coast Guard maritime safety and security team mission in Seattle. On March 25, 2007, the last day of his scheduled patrol, he became a RI hero when he fell off one of the 25-foot boats; hitting the propeller, suffering skull fractures, cerebral lacerations, and cerebral contusions.
Ronald Gill Jr., a baseball, football, and basketball standout as a teenager, was a member of the fast-response boats nicknamed “defenders,” which traveled alongside Washington state ferries. They have been among the most visible symbols of the Coast Guard’s security efforts since Sept. 11, 2001.
He was a product of a Rhode Island technical school working as a chef but watching television replays of terrorist planes hitting the World Trade Center, Gill felt a calling to protect this country, his dad said. “He was the most wonderful human being you would ever want to meet,” his dad recalled.
Born in Inglewood, Calif., Ronald had compassionate brown eyes and cared for his loved ones as much as his country, his family said. When another 14- year-old shot his little brother in the head with a pellet gun, Gill was at the hospital for hours, praying for his recovery.
“He was always there to protect me,” said his brother, now 23. “I’ll never have another relationship with anybody like I had with him.
A reservist on active duty, Ronald was part of the Coast Guard maritime safety and security team based in Anchorage, Alaska. The Pacific Area Commander at the time said Gill genuinely enjoyed his mission in Seattle, which was scheduled to end the day he died.
Gill’s vessel was one of two such boats from the Coast Guard maritime safety and security team involved in the exercise. The Commander of the First Coast Guard District in Boston noted at the time that “Homeland security is now our calling card and PS3 Gill was engaged in a mission which was specifically created to increase anti-terrorism activities on our nation’s waterways.”
Petty Officer Third Class Gill was doing security patrols and training north of Vashon Island on March 25, 2007 when he fell off one of the 25-foot boats and hit the propeller; suffering skull fractures, cerebral lacerations and cerebral contusions. He is survived by his parents, his brother, and his wife.