Smith, Richard Dean, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1535-Navigator, Tanker
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1964-1965, 405th Fighter Wing
Service Years
1961 - 1965
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by A3C Michael S. Bell to remember Smith, Richard Dean, Maj.

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
Last Address
Bien Hoa AB

Casualty Date
Mar 11, 1965
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Kontum (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Resthaven Gardens of Memory - Wichita, Kansas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 095

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Navigator Observer (basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Air Force Reserve Command 8th Bombardment Squadron34th Tactical Group405th Fighter Wing
  1961-1965, Air Force Reserve Command
  1964-1965, 8th Bombardment Squadron
  1964-1965, 34th Tactical Group
  1964-1965, 405th Fighter Wing
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-57 Canberra  
  1964-1965, B-57 Canberra
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Although B-57 Canberra bombers had first deployed to Vietnam in 1964, they weren't released for offensive operations until early 1966. While the aircraft proved too vulnerable for use over North Vietnam they were very useful in the less well defended airspace over Laos and South Vietnam.


On 11 March 1966 two Canberras of the 8th Bomb Squadron departed Bien Hoa Air Base for a visual strike against a target some 30 miles north of Kontum City. One of the aircraft, B-57B tail number 53-3890, burst into flames and crashed immediately after a low-altitude weapons release, possibly due to fragmentation damage from its own bombs. The body of the pilot, Captain William C. Mattis of Acampo, California, was recovered shortly after the loss, but the remains of the bombardier-navigator, 1stLt Richard D. Smith, were not located. He was classed as Missing in Action and remained in that status until the Secretary of the Air Force approved a presumptive Finding of Death on 01 Dec 1977.

A JTF-FA investigation led to the repatriation of fragmentary remains on 07 Feb 1994. On 06 Sep 1994 the Defense Department announced that the remains had been identified as those of Richard D. Smith.

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