RUSSELL, RICHARD LEE
RUSSELL, RICHARD LEE
Rank / Branch:
CAPTAIN, U.S. AIR FORCE
Date of Birth:
11830N 1063547E (XT745866)
BODY NOT RETURNED
Awards & Decorations:
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RICHARD LEE RUSSELL, CAPTAIN, U.S. AIR FORCE, SNYDER, SCURRY COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Navigator Wings, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Richard Lee Russell married Marianne Askins of Snyder, Texas and they were the parents of a daughter, Vicky Shannon Russell. They met while in college. Marianne's parents were Thadius and Helen Askins of Snyder, Texas.
Richard was an AFROTC Researve Officer and was trained as a navigator.
Name: Richard Lee Russell
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit:CCK Air Force Base, Taiwan - TDY to 345th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Tan Son Nhut ABSV
Date of Birth: 06 November 1946
Home City of Record:Snyder TX
Date of Loss: 26 April 1972
Country of Loss:South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 113803N 1063547E (XT745866)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: Harry Amesbury; Calvin E. Cooke; Richard E. Dunn; Donald R. Hoskins (all missing); Kurt F. Weisman (remains returned 1975)
Source:Compiled by Homecoming II Project 31 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
Remarks: CRASH - 1 REM RCV - N SIGN SUBJ
SYNOPSIS:From the CCK Air Force Base base in Taiwan, C-130 crews flew to different locations, including Korea, Borneo, Indonesia, Japan, Africa, etc. But most trips were to various bases in Vietnam for 3 week stays. Then the men would return to the base in Taiwan for 3 days. On one such Vietnam tour, one C130E had a crew consisting of Harry A. Amesbury, pilot; Richard L. Russell, navigator, Richard E. Dunn, loadmaster, Calvin C. Cooke, Donald R. Hoskins, and Kurt F. Weisman, crew members. This crew was TDY to 345th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, South Vietnam.
On April 26, 1972, Amesbury's aircraft and crew were making a night drop of supplies to South Vietnamese forces trapped in An Loc, South Vietnam (about 65 miles from Saigon). The provincial capitol had been under seige by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces off and on since early April. Supply drops and air support were critically needed and often hampered by hostile forces outside the city. Upon approach to the drop site at a very low level, the aircraft was hit by enemy fire and was reported to be down. The men onboard the aircraft were declared Missing in Action.
Supply drops were generally accomplished in one of two ways, both requiring that the plane be airborne, and flying at very low altitudes. Using one method, parachutes attached to the supply pallets were deployed. As the plane flew over, the parachutes pulled the cargo from the plane. Using another method, a hook attached to the cargo was dropped from the plane, affixed to some firm fixture on the ground. As the plane departed the area, the cargo was pulled out of the plane. Both required considerable skill under the best of circumstances.
According to the Department of the Air Force, it received unspecified information that contained evidence of death for the crew members on May 5, 1972. The status of the missing men was changed to Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.
In February, 1975, non-American friendly forces recovered and returned the remains of Kurt Weisman. No information surfaced on the rest of the crew. All onboard had been assumed killed in the downing of the plane.