Roger Ingvalson was born on June 20, 1928, in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on August 3, 1950, and after completing basic training he attended Airborne Electronics School before serving as an Airborne Radar Repairman at Randolph AFB, Texas. He was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force in April 1952, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Bryan AFB, Texas, on April 15, 1953. After completing F-80 Shooting Star and F-86 Sabre Combat Crew Training, Lt Ingvalson served as an F-94 Starfire pilot with the 437th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Oxnard AFB, California, until November 1955, when he transferred to the 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Keflavik, Iceland, flying F-89 Scorpions until November 1956. His next assignment was as an F-86 pilot with the 552nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Bunker Hill AFB, Indiana, from November 1956 to August 1957, followed by service as an F-100 Super Sabre pilot with the 406th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Turner AFB, Georgia, from August 1957 to January 1959. Capt Ingvalson next served as an F-105 Thunderchief pilot with the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida, from January 1959 to January 1962, and then Director of Flight Test Operations for the F-105 with the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, from January 1962 to April 1965. Maj Ingvalson's next assignment was as an F-105 pilot with the 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing at Kadena AB, Okinawa, from April 1965 to January 1968, followed by service as an F-105 pilot and as Operations Officer for the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from January 1968 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on May 28, 1968. After spending 1,752 days in captivity, Col Ingvalson was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries, and then attended Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, before serving as an A-7 Corsair II pilot and Assistant Director of Operations for the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing at England AFB, Louisiana. Col Ingvalson retired from the Air Force on September 1, 1976, and later started and directed a Prison Ministry in Tennessee for many years. Roger Ingvalson died on December 24, 2011, and was buried at the Chattanooga National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
Major Roger D. Ingvalson distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force over North Vietnam on 14 February 1968. On that date, Major Ingvalson exhibited extroardinary courage as a member of a surface to air missile suppression flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs assigned to protect a large strike force. Despite electronic equipment malfunctions, his aggressiveness and skill enabled him to successfully decoy numerous surface to air missiles as well as intense, accurate antiaircraft fire away from the main force and to his own aircraft. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Ingvalson has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.