Richard Wayne MiddletonPrivate First Class
D CO, 1ST BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
14 June 1946 - 27 October 1967
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The database page for Richard Wayne Middleton
Richard Wayne Middleton
A Note from The Virtual WallIn October 1967 the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, was based out of Con Thien, in an area just south of the DMZ which was thick with North Vietnamese Army units. Very few of the available aircraft had sufficient night or all-weather ground attack capabilities to provide close air support with bombs. In order to close this gap the Marines and Air Force used the TPQ-10 ground radar, a high-definition radar that allowed ground personnel to guide an aircraft to its calculated weapons release point. While the TPQ-10 system was accurate, it was entirely dependent on three critical elements - the target location had to be accurately plotted, the ground element had to accurately calculate the desired drop point, and the pilot had to fly his aircraft exactly as directed by the system. If an error was made in any one of the three elements, the aircraft's weapons would go astray to some greater or lesser degree.
The 1/9 Command Chronology for Oct 1967 records exactly such an accident in an entry for 13 Oct:
"A TPQ-10 controlled airstrike on 13 October at 1955H accidentally dropped ordnance inside the battalion perimeter resulting in two KIA and seventeen WIAs."The two men killed by the errant bombs were
When the services were directed to compile a listing of the men and women who died as a direct result of service in Vietnam Pfc Middleton was overlooked. His name was added to the Wall in November 1983.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009