RICHARD C HALPIN
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HONORED ON PANEL 2W, LINE 122 OF THE WALL

RICHARD CONROY HALPIN

WALL NAME

RICHARD C HALPIN

PANEL / LINE

2W/122

DATE OF BIRTH

07/23/1946

CASUALTY PROVINCE

LZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

03/29/1972

HOME OF RECORD

SAN DIEGO

COUNTY OF RECORD

San Diego County

STATE

CA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

RANK

CAPT

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR RICHARD CONROY HALPIN
POSTED ON 3.10.2019
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear Captain Richard Halpin,
Thank you for your service as a Navigator. Your anniversary is this month, sad. The war was years ago, but we all need to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 7.23.2018
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Colonel Richard Conroy Halpin, Served with the 16th Special Operations Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 7th Air Force.
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POSTED ON 6.12.2017

Served together

I knew Richard as a student navigator at James Conally AFB. I was one of his instructor I later joined up with Richard at Ubon AB, Thailand in the 16th Special Operations Squadron. Since I knew Richard, I volunteered as his Summary Courts officer. I started that grim duty, but was unable to complete the assignment because of my rotation. There are those individuals in ones life that you will always remember. Richard was one of those
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POSTED ON 5.9.2016
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Final Mission of CAPT Richard C. Halpin

On the night of March 29, 1972, an AC-130A Hercules "Spectre" gunship (#55-0044, nicknamed "Prometheus") departed Ubon Airfield, Thailand on a night reconnaissance mission over supply routes used by North Vietnamese forces in Laos. The crew of the aircraft consisted of pilots MAJ Irving B. Ramsower II and 1LT Charles J. Wanzel III, the navigator, MAJ Henry P. Brauner, and crew members MAJ Howard D. Stephenson, CAPT Curtis D. Miller, CAPT Barclay B. Young, CAPT Richard Castillo, CAPT Richard C. Halpin, SSGT Merlyn L. Paulson, SSGT Edwin J. Pearce, SSGT Edward D. Smith Jr., SSGT James K. Caniford; and Airmen First Class (A1C) William A. Todd and Robert E. Simmons. As the aircraft was in the jungle foothills 56 miles east of Savannakhet in southern Laos, it was shot down by at least one, possibly two Russian surface to air missiles (SAM). According to the F-4 Phantom II pilots escorting the ship, the AC-130 was in a valley a few miles west of Tchepone, Laos. The gunship was working over targets in the area. Visibility was about four miles with scattered clouds at 6,000 feet. The aircraft was illuminated by the full moon to the west, a gunners' moon. Triple-A (anti-aircraft fire) was moderate, nothing unusual, until the fighter pilots saw a SAM launch from their port side. It rose up in an arc headed for the AC-130. As the gunship rolled right to avoid the first SAM, two more were fired at it from different locations. There was no way out as they were bracketed. The escort pilots agreed, he took a hit on the right wing inboard engine and an explosion and fire resulted. As the gunship started to drop down, another explosion occurred and something large and flaming was seen to separate from the aircraft. "There was no mayday call," said the Phantom pilot. "We heard a couple beepers very distinctly, but all we could see down there in the darkness were fires on the ground." This word that a number of beepers were heard caused speculation that the North Vietnamese were trying to lure rescue crews into an ambush. U.S. government sources stated in February 1986 that a fighter escort plane reported that the aircraft crashed in a fireball, no parachutes were seen, nor was radio contact made with the AC-130 or any of its crew. In 1972, however, the Pearce family was told that an F-4 support plane traveling with the AC-130 heard "so many beepers they couldn't count them" and that the emergency beeper type carried by the crew could only be activated manually. The Pearce family took this as strong proof that a number of the crew survived. The support aircraft plane left the area to refuel. When it returned, there were no signs of life. The U.S. and Laos excavated this aircraft's crash site in February 1986. The teams recovered a limited number of human bone fragments, personal effects and large pieces of plane wreckage. It was later announced by the U.S. Government that the remains of Castillo, Halpin, Ramsower, Simmons, Todd, Paulson, Pearce, Wanzel and Smith had been positively identified from these bone fragments. They were interred in Arlington National Cemetery on June 18, 2010. [Taken from pownetwork.org and us-mil-thai.tripod.com]
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POSTED ON 5.2.2016
POSTED BY: Luis Parker

Richard Halpin's Mother

I served two tour in Nam as a Marine and later served in the Air Force. While stationed at USAF Regional Hospital, March AFB, CA. I met Capt. Halpin's mother. She was a Red Cross volunteer and I was a newly assigned Pharmacy Tech. She gave me the bracelet I still wear to this day. Mahalo nui loa to the Halpin Ohana and Aloha ke Akua.
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