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Encyclopedia > Karl W. Richter
Karl Wendell Richter
October 4, 1942 - July 28, 1967

Lt Karl Richter
Place of birth Holly, Michigan
Place of death Vietnam
Allegiance Flag of United States U.S. Air Force
Years of service 1964-1967
Rank 1st Lieutenant
Unit 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron
388th Tactical Fighter Wing
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards

Air Force Cross
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Air Medal
Purple Heart October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... July 28 is the 209th day (210th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 156 days remaining. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Image File history File links Karl_W_Richter. ... Holly is a village located in Oakland County, Michigan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_States. ... Image File history File links Karl_W_Richter_ribbon. ... The Air Force Cross is a military decoration which is issued in the following countries: The Air Force Cross of the United Kingdom The Air Force Cross of the United States This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same... The Silver Star is the fifth highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces, and the third highest given for valor (in the face of the enemy). ... The Distinguished Flying Cross. ... The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration and is the fourth highest award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service. ... The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States which was established by Executive Order 9158, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, on May 11, 1942. ... A Purple Heart medal For the plant genus, see Purpleheart. ...

Karl Wendell Richter (October 4, 1942 - July 28, 1967) was an officer in the United States Air Force and an accomplished fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. At the age of 23 he was the youngest pilot in that conflict to shoot down a MiG in air-to-air combat. October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... July 28 is the 209th day (210th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 156 days remaining. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Aircraft of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition counterparts stationed together at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in southwest Asia, fly over the desert. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... Mikoyan, formerly Mikoyan-Gurevich (Russian: ), is a Russian military aircraft design bureau, primarily for fighter aircraft. ...

Contents

Early Career

Karl W. Richter was born in 1942 in Holly, Michigan, the youngest of three children. From a young age he was interested in aviation, helped by his sister Betty, and by 18 had developed into a highly skilled pilot. Encouraged, again by his sister, to apply to the United States Air Force Academy, he was nominated by Michigan Senator Philip Hart and Congressman William Broomfield, graduating June 3, 1964, with a commission as a second lieutenant in the Regular Air Force. Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Holly is a village located in Oakland County, Michigan. ... The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, (, ), is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers in the United States Air Force. ... Philip Aloysius Hart (December 10, 1912–December 26, 1976) was a Democratic senator from Michigan. ... William S. Broomfield, or Bill Broomfield, (born April 28, 1922) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ...


Richter received his 53 weeks of Undergraduate Pilot Training at Craig Air Force Base, Alabama, then completed the 26-week Combat Crew Replacement Training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for qualification in the F-105 Thunderchief. Without any pre-overseas leave, he ferried a replacement F-105 directly to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand on April 6, 1966, and was assigned to the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron of the newly-designated 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. Four days later was flying missions over North Vietnam. Craig Air Force Base near Selma, Alabama, was a flying training base until it closed in 1977. ... Official language(s) English Capital Montgomery Largest city Birmingham Area  Ranked 30th  - Total 52,419 sq mi (135,765 km²)  - Width 190 miles (306 km)  - Length 330 miles (531 km)  - % water 3. ... Map showing the locations of Nellis AFB and the NAFR Nellis Air Force Base (IATA: LSV, ICAO: KLSV) is a United States Air Force base, located in Clark County, Nevada, on the northeast side of Las Vegas. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Republic F-105 Thunderchief, commonly known as the Thud by its crews, was a single-seat supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force. ... Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base is a base of the Royal Thai Air Force. ... April 6 is the 96th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (97th in leap years). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN), or less commonly, Vietnamese Democratic Republic (Vietnamese: Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cá»™ng Hòa), also known as North Vietnam, was proclaimed by Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, September 2nd1945 and was recognized by the Peoples Republic of China and the...


Vietnam

Lieutenant Richter quickly became an exceptional fighter pilot, and took on every opportunity to fly. With only two years' Air Force experience and even less in combat, became an element leader. Once, while on leave, he turned down the possibility of a trip to Bangkok or Hong Kong and went instead to Nakhon Phanom where he flew combat missions in an O-1E Bird Dog. The Thai Trai Rong flag on a BTS station as it waves pass the 50 story CentralWorld office building in the heart of Bangkok The Wat Phra Kaew temple complex Bangkok, officially known as Krung Thep in Thai ( ), is the capital and largest city of Thailand, with an official 2000... Nakhon Phanom is a town in Thailand, capital of the Nakhon Phanom province. ... The O-1 Bird Dog is a military version of the Cessna 170 used by the United States Air Force, Army and Marines. ...


On September 21, 1966, Richter was flying as Ford 03, an element leader, north of Haiphong on a mission to seek out SAM sites. Preparing to strike a discovered site, he saw two MiG-17s making a pass. After assessing the situation, began closing in on the enemy aircraft. He engaged the MiG with his 20mm cannon and impacted the enemy aircraft. September 21 is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Haiphong (Vietnamese: Hải Phòng, Chinese 海防, Hǎifáng) is the third most populous city in Vietnam. ... Akash Missile Firing French Air Force Crotale battery Bendix Rim-8 Talos surface to air missile of the US Navy A surface-to-air missile (SAM) is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft. ... MiG-17 at the Central Texas Airshow, USA, May 2003. ... Unmounted M61 Vulcan The 20 mm M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style gun with an extremely high rate of fire. ...

Lt. Karl Richter's Decorations
Lt. Karl Richter's
Decorations

Just as Richter's guns went empty, the MiG's wing broke off and he saw the MiG pilot eject. In a later comment, Richter noted "...It's strange, but, in a way, I was happy he got a good chute. I guess that's the thought that runs through all our minds. He's a jock like I am, flying for the enemy of course, but he's flying a plane, doing a job he has to do." Image File history File links Karl_Ricther_Decorations. ... Image File history File links Karl_Ricther_Decorations. ...


At the age of 23, Karl Richter had become the youngest American pilot to shoot down a MiG over Vietnam. Went to Saigon to receive the personal congratulations of Lt. Gen. William W. Momyer, Seventh Air Force commander, and again at the personal invitation of Premier Nguyễn Cao Kỳ when he was awarded the Vietnamese Distinguished Service Medal. Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành Chí Minh) is the largest city in Vietnam, located near the delta of the Mekong River. ... General William Wallace Momyer was commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command. ... The Seventh Air Force (7 AF) is a Numbered Air Force (NAF) under the Pacific Air Forces major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force. ... Nguyá»…n Cao Kỳ   (born 1930) is a Vietnamese politician, who served as Prime Minister of South Vietnam from 1965 to 1967, and then as Vice President until his retirement from politics in 1971. ... Navy D.S.O. 2nd Class The Vietnam Distinguished Service Order was a military decoration of South Vietnam which was awarded throughout the years of the Vietnam War. ...


As he approached the 100-mission mark, Lieutenant Richter asked permission to fly a second 100 missions, believing his combat experience should be used to advance the war effort.
On April 20, 1967, while leading a defense-suppression flight of F-105s, his flight destroyed or pinned down a number of enemy AAA and SAM crews, enabling the strike force to eliminate an important railroad target, inspite of intense enemy fire and weather that hindered navigation.
Having already won the Silver Star, was awarded the Air Force Cross for his skill and heroism that day. April 20 is the 110th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (111th in leap years). ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was a single-seat, supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force. ... American troops man an anti-aircraft gun near the Algerian coastline in 1943 Anti-aircraft, or air defense, is any method of combating military aircraft from the ground. ... Akash Missile Firing French Air Force Crotale battery Bendix Rim-8 Talos surface to air missile of the US Navy A surface-to-air missile (SAM) is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft. ... The Silver Star is the fifth highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces, and the third highest given for valor (in the face of the enemy). ... The Air Force Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Air Force. ...


At the time of his death, Lt. Karl Richter had flown more missions over North Vietnam than any other airman—198 in all officially credited. [1] The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN), or less commonly, Vietnamese Democratic Republic (Vietnamese: Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cá»™ng Hòa), also known as North Vietnam, was proclaimed by Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, September 2nd1945 and was recognized by the Peoples Republic of China and the...


Last Mission

Karl W. Richter was killed on July 28, 1967 on a flight over North Vietnam.
Flying with a new pilot, spotted a bridge, instructing the trainee to stay above and watch as he rolled his F-105 toward the target. Suddenly, enemy anti-aircraft artillery opened up hitting the plane and forcing him to eject, but his parachute disappeared into the fog bank and cloud cover. A nearby rescue helicopter picked up his beeper signal and homed in to get the downed pilot. Being severely injured during his descent, most likely from swinging into the side of a sandstone cliff, he died en route to a hospital.


Awards, Decorations and Memorial

Awards

Memorial at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
Memorial at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

In 1969, Richter was posthumously awarded the Air Force Academy's Jabara Award for airmanship, and in 2005, he was named exemplar of the Academy's Class of 2008.
The public schools administration building in his hometown of Holly, Michigan was named in his honor. Image File history File links Karl_W_Richter_memorial. ... Image File history File links Karl_W_Richter_memorial. ... Year 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, (, ), is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers in the United States Air Force. ... The Jabara Award for Airmanship, named in memory of Colonel James Jabara, is awarded each year to the United States Air Force Academy graduate whose accomplishments demonstrate superior performance in fields directly involved with aerospace vehicles. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Holly is a village located in Oakland County, Michigan. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ...


Decorations

Image File history File links AFC_(US)_BAR.gif‎ File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Karl W. Richter ... The Air Force Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Air Force. ... Image File history File links Silver_Star_BAR.svg‎ en: Ribbon bar: Silver Star Based on PD picture Image:Silverstar photo. ... The Silver Star is the fifth highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces, and the third highest given for valor (in the face of the enemy). ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Distinguished Flying Cross. ... Bronze and Silver oak leaf clusters An Oak leaf cluster is a common device which is placed on military awards and decorations to denote those who have received more than one bestowal of a particular decoration. ... Image File history File links Bronze_Star_BAR.svg‎ en: Ribbon bar: Bronze Star Based on PD picture Image:Bronze Star Medal Obverse. ... The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration and is the fourth highest award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States which was established by Executive Order 9158, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, on May 11, 1942. ... Bronze and Silver oak leaf clusters An Oak leaf cluster is a common device which is placed on military awards and decorations to denote those who have received more than one bestowal of a particular decoration. ... Purple Heart Ribbon File links The following pages link to this file: Purple Heart Awards and decorations of the United States military User:Zscout370/Images Template:USFederalMilitary Categories: United States government images ... A Purple Heart medal For the plant genus, see Purpleheart. ...

Memorial

A statue of his likeness stands at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, with the inscription:
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Here am I. Send me." (Isaiah 6:8) Maxwell Air Force Base (offically known as Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base) is a United States Air Force facility near Montgomery, Alabama. ... Official language(s) English Capital Montgomery Largest city Birmingham Area  Ranked 30th  - Total 52,419 sq mi (135,765 km²)  - Width 190 miles (306 km)  - Length 330 miles (531 km)  - % water 3. ... The Book of Isaiah (Hebrew: Sefer Yshayah ספר ישעיה) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, believed to be written by Isaiah[1]. // The 66 chapters of Isaiah consist primarily of prophecies of the judgments awaiting nations that are persecuting Judah. ...


References

  1. ^ After his death and subsequent close scrutiny of flight records, it is claimed that he actually passed the 200 mission milestone.
    (though this has not been confirmed).

Sources and External Links

  • He Believed, MSgt K.A. Allen, Airman Magazine, 1967
  • "Valor: Here I am. Send Me", John Frisbee. AIR FORCE Magazine September 1985
  • Virtual Wall

 
 

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