Ray Salzarulo was born on August 31, 1942, in Steubenville, Ohio. He entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1960, and graduated with a commission as a 2d Lt on June 3, 1964. Lt Salzarulo next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Craig AFB, Alabama, in August 1965. He then completed F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training and Pilot Systems Operator Training before being assigned to the 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron at MacDill AFB, Florida, in January 1966. Lt Salzarulo deployed to Southeast Asia in July 1966, and served with the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, until he was killed in action on September 4, 1966, over North Vietnam. He was originally listed as Missing in Action, and wasn't declared Killed in Action until March 12, 1973, during which time he was promoted to the rank of Captain. Capt Salzarulo's remains were returned to the United States on September 13, 1990, and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
First Lieutenant Raymond P. Salzarulo distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an F4C pilot deep in unfriendly territory on 4 September 1966. On that date, the airmanship and courage displayed by Lieutenant Salzarulo resulted in the successful accomplishment of an important mission. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Salzarulo reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.