The Wall of Faces

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RICHARD MCAULIFFE BLOOM


is honored on Panel 10E, Line 123 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Remembered by St Ignatius College Prep (class of '60)

    Posted on 7/14/18 - by Mary DeWitt
    Born in 1942, Richard Bloom grew up on 35th Avenue and attended Holy Name Church. His mother, Dolores, a third-generation San Franciscan, worked at SI in the treasurer’s office, and his father, a San Francisco policeman, came from West Marin. His friends included Dick Lynch ’60 and Bill Foehr ’60. Lynch recalls that Bloom and his father were “more devoted to one another than any father and son that I’ve ever met.”

    At 6-feet, 2-inches and 190 pounds, Richard was “solid as a cement block and an exceptional athlete. As a defensive back at SI, he could run as fast backwards as I could forwards,” said his Marine buddy Richard Torykian. Lynch recalls that he was “very friendly, not too studious, a great athlete and hunter and very into automobiles. He had a ’49 Ford hotrod that we rebuilt.”

    After SI, he attended USF for two years where he continued to play football before enlisting in the Marine Corps Officer Training Program. According to his sister, Katherine Bloom, he hoped to become a pilot. He had a girlfriend, but didn’t want to marry until he came back from the war.

    He first trained in Pensacola, Florida, to fly the A4E Skyhawk and F8 Crusader and then went to El Toro with the First Marine Division. There he hooked up with Torykian, who recalls the day he met Richard Bloom. “My roommates, two fighter pilots, and I went to a bar one night where I ran into Dick Bloom. We got into a little bit of an argument when I told him his date was ugly. You had to know him to understand how he took it. He had so much life in him and an enormous sense of humor.”

    At El Toro the two used to play handball on Friday nights after work and share a few drinks at the Officers’ Club. “When he smiled, his whole face smiled,” noted Torykian. “We talked about going deer hunting with his dad in Olema after the war.”

    Torykian thought that Bloom was “an outstanding aviator. We struck up a great friendship.” The two were roommates in Laguna Beach until March 1965 when President Johnson sent elements of the Third Marine Division to Vietnam. Richard went to Vietnam in early 1966 and flew 70 combat missions in two months with Marine Attack Squadron 224 before being killed on September 20, 1966, flying support for ground troops near Chu Lai. Bloom’s aircraft was hit during his third run against a truck park near the village of Ha Tinh, about 20 miles southwest of Danang. According to Bloom’s wingman, small arms fire downed the plane. Bloom’s body was never recovered. Torykian believes the plane burrowed into the soft jungle ground and buried Bloom in his cockpit.

    Katherine, his sister, remembers the day two men in full dress uniforms came to the door to inform the family of Richard’s death. “They rang my doorbell, and I heard my mother scream. I ran to the door. It was horrible. I’ll never forget that day. I adored my brother.”
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  • Forever On My Mind

    Posted on 2/4/18 - by Cpl Michael E. Robbins grumpybones@sbcglobal.net
    Lt.Bloom:I was your Plane Captain on the fateful day you went missing and I often think of you and what a great Marine you were. It was a pleasure to serve with you and my heart aches that you have not returned home to your family. I hope that God has been kind to you and your family. You are in my prayers.
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  • My life

    Posted on 2/3/18 - by Janice Green Downs kysnani@yahoo.com
    You have been missing since the day I was born. My father served in Vietnam and I was raised to honor and respect those who serve. I will always remember that as long as I have been alive, you have been missing. Your sacrifice will always be remembered and honored. Love and blessings to your family.
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  • Remembered

    Posted on 4/11/17 - by Lucy Conte Micik bennysgift@gmail.com
    DEAR LIEUTENANT BLOOM,
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AS FIXED WING VMF PILOT. SEMPER FI. YOU WERE BORN ON MY MOM'S BIRTHDAY. SAY HI TO HER, HER NAME IS ROSE. YOU ARE STILL MIA.
    PLEASE COME HOME.
    IT HAS BEEN FAR TOO LONG FOR ALL OF YOU TO HAVE BEEN GONE. WE APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE DONE, AND YOUR SACRIFICE. WATCH OVER THE U.S.A., IT STILL NEEDS YOUR COURAGE. GOD BLESS YOU. MAY THE ANGELS BE AT YOUR SIDE. REST IN PEACE. MANY OF US HAVE BEGUN OUR JOURNEY TO EASTER. AND YOU ARE ALL IN OUR PRAYERS. IT IS HOLY WEEK, AND PASSOVER - GOD'S BLESSINGS ON YOU.
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  • Vietnam Wall

    Posted on 5/25/15 - by Michael Corrigan m_corrigan@hotmail.com
    I am a high school classmate of Richard Bloom and I'm writing a remembrance for a local Idaho paper. Today is memorial day, 2015.
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit www.buildthecenter.org.