Maj. Ralph Dresser Maj. Ralph Dresser was the Ranch Hand commander from the fall of 1965 to the fall of 1966. During this time, the number of spray aircraft doubled and enemy reaction to the defoliation program increased considerably. Dresser took an active hand in command by regularly leading spray missions, and he received two Silver Stars in the summer of 1966. On both occasions, he positioned his aircraft to draw enemy fire away from another damaged UC-123. Dresser later flew A-37s in 1969 with the 8th Attack Squadron. Combined with his Ranch Hand service, he flew 750 combat missions, and his decorations included a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and the Air Medal with 31 oak leaf clusters. Click here to return to Down in the Weeds: Ranch Hand.