Arthur Gene Richardson

First Lieutenant
HMM-361, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
11 January 1939 - 08 October 1963
Rochelle, Illinois
Panel 01E Line 030


Naval Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Arthur Gene Richardson

01 Sep 2007

Arthur (known as Bud) Richardson was a childhood friend in the small farming community of Monroe Center, Illinois. We remember and pray for him and most of all - we thank him.

From a friend,
Joel Linderoth

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 08 October 1963 a Vietnamese Air Force T-28B crewed by a VNAF pilot (name unknown) and Captain Dean A. Wadsworth, USAF (1st Air Commando Sqdn), went down while flying a combat support mission approximately 50 miles southwest of Da Nang, South Vietnam. As they completed a bombing run over the target, the T-28 broke apart in midair, crashed and exploded.

HMM-361, also operating from Danang Air Base, initiated search and rescue operations with two UH-34D helicopters operating in conjunction with an Army L-19 light observation aircraft. At 1930 (7:30PM) the L-19 pilot reported that he had lost radio and visual contact with the two UH-34s. Deteriorating weather and approaching nightfall precluded further SAR efforts for the missing H-34s or the T-28 until first light on 9 October.

At that time, HMM-361 launched two UH-34s (carrying ARVN troops), accompanied by an Army O-1, to locate the downed aircraft. The UH-34s sighted the wreckage of one UH-34 and approached to off-load their troops. The first UH-34 to approach the landing zone was hit by enemy fire, wounding the copilot and killing a ARVN trooper. As a result, the SAR effort rapidly became a search-and-clear operation with additional UH-34 troop-carriers placing two ARVN companies in the area. During the troop lifts, the second downed UH-34 was located about 500 meters distant from the first.

Over the next two days, some 200 air missions were flown in support of the ground operations, three additional aircraft were lost, and four others damaged. Fifteen South Vietnamese soldiers were killed and seven were wounded - and the bodies of ten of the twelve sailors and Marines were recovered from the downed UH-34s:

  • Aboard UH-34D BuNo 148781
    • WO1 Charles F Whitehead Jr., pilot
    • 1stLt Arthur G Richardson, copilot
    • Cpl Ronald F Skoviak, crew chief
    • L/Cpl Donald F Davidson, SAR crew
    • Cpl Charles P Tuthill, Combat Photographer, MABS-16
    • HN Claude Rice, USN, SAR Corpsman

  • Aboard UH-34D BuNo 148759
Although LCpl Ritchey and HM3 Denton were not recovered, the Marine Investigating Board concluded that "Due to the condition of the wreckage, conclusive evidence existed beyond a reasonable doubt that both were dead and that they had died in the same accident at the same time as the other crew members." Accordingly, the two men were classed as killed in action/body not recovered.

A similar Air Force Board concluded that Captain Wadsworth could not have survived the T-28 crash and he too was classed as killed in action/body not recovered. In 1994-95, the T-28 crash site was located and Wadsworth's dog tags were recovered together with human remains. On 2 March 1999, the Army's Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI) announced that Captain Wadsworth's remains had been positively identified.

The USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association site contains a report that "two brittle teeth, and a military dog tag with the name: Ritchey, Luther E. Jr." were turned over by a Vietnamese to a visiting American, and that the CILHI later found that the teeth "were almost certainly the remains of Ritchey." The Department of Defense announced on 26 Jan 2004 that Ritchey's recovery had been confirmed but continues to list Hospitalman 3rd Class Denton as Body not Recovered (12 Sep 2007).

Read the
USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association report

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Joel Linderoth

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 01 Sep 2007
Last updated 09/13/2007