Richard Lee Russell

First Lieutenant
United States Air Force
06 November 1946 - 26 April 1972
Snyder, Texas
Panel 01W Line 007



Richard L Russell

USAF Navigator/Bombardier

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

The database page for Richard Lee Russell

8 Nov 2004

Richard Lee Russell was a 1965 graduate of Snyder High School in Snyder, Texas. He was married. He was lost while serving as a navigator on a C-130E. The aircraft went down near An Loc, South Vietnam. Remains of one crewman were found and identified in 1975. Another crewman's remains were identified in 1998. Captain Russell's remains have not been located. He is remembered by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Midland, Texas.

From a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

01 Mar 2006

My name is John A Burke. I was Rich's hard crew copilot during the months of February, March and April 1972. I would have been on his final flight if not for an illness that left me back at CCK that day. Rich was a fine navigator, a great person. I escorted his wife and young daughter back to Texas. I have thought of him many times since, and visited the Wall in Washington. He was truly a heroic American.

From a fellow crew member,
John A. Burke

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 31 May 1971, the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing replaced the 314th TAW at Ching Chuang Kang Airbase, Taiwan, inheriting a heavy commitment in support of operations in Southeast Asia. The 374th provided temporary duty augmentation to the in-country C-130 forces, with crews and aircraft alternating between three-week deployments in-country and brief returns to Taiwan for major maintenance.

On 26 April 1972, a 345th Tac Alft Sqdn aircrew on temporary duty with Det 1, 345th Tactical Airlift Squadron, at Tan Son Nhut Airbase outside Saigon was tasked with a night resupply drop to ARVN troops trapped in the besieged city of An Loc, Binh Long Province, a provincial capitol about 65 miles northwest of Saigon. An Loc had been under siege by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces off and on since early April. At 0412 hours, Major Amesbury was given clearance by the on-site Forward Air Controller (FAC) to initiate their supply drop. As the C-130E (serial 64-0508) made its pass over Anh Loc at a very low altitude, the aircraft was struck by enemy fire and crashed into the countryside approximately 1 mile southwest of the city. An aerial and electronic search of the area commenced immediately, but a ground search of the crash site was impractical due to the intense enemy presence in the area. No emergency beepers were heard and no parachutes seen. When the search efforts were terminated, the six men were listed as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered:

  • MAJ Harry A. Amesbury, pilot, Morrison, IL
  • CPT Kurt F. Weisman, copilot, Jasper, IN
  • 1LT Richard L. Russell, navigator, Snyder, TX
  • SSGT Calvin C. Cooke, loadmaster, Washington, DC (Silver Star)
  • TSGT Richard E. Dunn, loadmaster, Terryville, CT
  • TSGT Donald R. Hoskins, flight engineer, Madison, IN
Remains of four crewmen have been recovered:
  • In early February 1975 an ARVN ground team examined the C-130 crash site to search for its missing crew. Partial remains of one man were recovered and identified on 27 February 1975 as Kurt Weisman.
  • Remains repatriated 14 Nov 1991 were identified on 20 May 2001 as those of Major Amesbury.
  • Remains repatriated 03 Mar 1988 were identified on 27 Mar 2006 as those of SSgt Cooke.
  • Remains repatriated 14 Apr 1992 were identified on 27 Mar 2006 as those of TSgt Hoskins.
1stLt Russell and TSgt Dunn have not been repatriated.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762
8 Nov 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/15/2006