Ryan and Johnny flew 38 sorties over France, Germany, and Belgium during the Chimeran War. They volunteered for a risky assignment over Berlin, and during this mission they were shot down. Both survived the crash and moved through Chimeran lines, dodging Chimeran patrols and trying to survive.
For a week, Johnny and Ryan survived on their own. Then, they entered Belgium and found a group of German refugees moving towards Germany - and the Chimera. Johnny and Ryan turned the group around towards France and joined the refugees, becoming their leaders. Ryan was able to speak some German, and when he and Johnny outlawed fires at night (since they would attract Chimera patrols) he could tell that this upset the refugees.
When one refugee actually started a fire during the night, Ryan told Johnny about this. When Johnny went to discipline the refugee, a Chimera patrol attacked. The refugee was killed, and Johnny ordered Ryan to set a fire to multiple trees while they were retreating from the Chimera, in order to throw the Chimera off their track. As Ryan began to do this, he was shot. Johnny became furious and killed the entire Chimeran patrol, starting with the Hybrid who shot Ryan. Johnny remorsefully believed himself to be blame for Ryan's death.