Whitesides, Richard Lebrou, Capt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1141A-Forward Air Controller
Last AFSC Group
Command and Control
Primary Unit
1963-1964, 1115A, 34th Tactical Group
Service Years
1959 - 1964
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

66 kb

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Whitesides, Richard Lebrou, Capt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Stockton, California
Last Address
Bien Hoa AB, RVN

Casualty Date
Mar 26, 1964
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Tri (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
U.S. Military Academy West Point Post Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 048

 Official Badges 

Air Training Command Instructor (pre-1966)

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans MemorialAmerican Battle Monuments Commission
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2014, American Battle Monuments Commission

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator (Basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
School AssignmentsUS Air ForceWestern Air Rescue Center, Air Rescue Service (ARS)41st Air Rescue Squadron
19th Tactical Air Support Squadron34th Tactical Group
  1959-1960, 1021A, Pilot Training Class (Unknown)
  1960-1961, Air Training Command
  1961-1961, 78th Operations Support Squadron
  1961-1962, Western Air Rescue Center, Air Rescue Service (ARS)
  1962-1963, 41st Air Rescue Squadron
  1963-1964, 1115A, 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron
  1963-1964, 1115A, 34th Tactical Group
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1963-1964 Vietnam War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1955-1959, United States Military Academy
 My Aircraft/Missiles
H-19 Chickasaw  O-1/L-19 Bird Dog  
  1961-1963, H-19 Chickasaw
  1963-1964, O-1/L-19 Bird Dog
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
His O-1 was shot down by small arms fire. He was killed in the crash and his observer became a POW. He was awarded the Air Force Cross for a previous mission but was killed before it could be presented. He was the first American to be killed in action at Khe Sanh, South Vietnam.
His remains were recovered in 2014; he is also memorialized in Court A, Courts of the Missing, Honolulu Memorial, HI.


His AF Cross citation:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Captain Richard Lebrou Whitesides (AFSN: 55637), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an Advisor-Pilot of an L-19 aircraft of the 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron, 34th Tactical Group, Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, in action on 24 November 1963 in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date, while piloting his unprotected aircraft, Captain Whitesides directed strikes time after time against heavily fortified Viet Cong positions and marked them for destruction. Even after his aircraft was partially disabled, Captain Whitesides remained in the area, and clearly pointed out the Viet Cong large gun emplacements, which led to their destruction by cover aircraft. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Whitesides reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Action Date: 24-Nov-63

Service: Air Force

Rank: Captain

Company: 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron

Regiment: 34th Tactical Group

Division: Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam
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