Richard Frank Collins

United States Navy
25 October 1936 - 13 February 1978
Huntington Park, California
Panel 16W Line 108

Naval Aviator

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

The database page for Richard Frank Collins

03 Dec 2000

On 22 November 1969, our sister A-6 INTRUDER squadron VA-196, flying from USS RANGER, lost two aircraft over Laos.

My squadron, VA-85 aboard USS CONSTELLATION, assisted with the SAR efforts. We were not successful.

Of the four crewmen, only one (Cdr L W Richards) was picked up. The other three

simply disappeared into the jungles of Savannakhet Province, Laos.

These men are remembered by their squadronmates, friends, and families.

From another A-6 crewman,
Ken Davis

04 Feb 2003

My name is Gina Pallotta and when I was in high school I ordered a POW bracelet. I wore CDR Richard Collins' POW bracelet for many years.

When I first visited the Vietnam Memorial in the 80's I found his name on the wall. I was going to leave his bracelet there as I knew that all of the items left were kept and cataloged. However, I decided that someday if I could ever find his family that they might want his bracelet. I want them to know that I considered it a great honor to wear his bracelet.

Gina Pallotta
E-mail will be forwarded by the

5 Jul 2004

I currently wear the POW bracelet of CDR Richard Collins. I simply wanted to say that he is not forgotten nor should any man who died serving this country be forgotten.

Warren Ellis

7 Mar 2005

My name is Pat Speer. I purchased a nickel-plated bracelet bearing CDR Richard Collins' name in 1971 and have never once taken it off. I am proud to remind everyone who asks about the bracelet that its purpose is twofold. First, it's an example of remembering our heros. Second, it's a reminder that we have an obligation to our children and to the future of our country to work to maintain peace.

Pat Speer
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Commander Richards and then Lieutenant (junior grade) Richard Deuter were flying as lead in a section of two A-6A INTRUDERS, operating under FAC control against a target near Tavouc in southern Laos. Richards, flying A-6A BuNo 155613, rolled in on the target and released his weapons, but as he pulled out of the dive-bombing delivery the wing structure failed and the aircraft disintegrated in flight. Richards was able to escape and was picked up about 30 minutes later, but Richard Deuter apparently went in with the aircraft.

In a separate incident, LCdr Richard F. Collins and Lt Michael E. Quinn, flying A-6A BuNo 155607, were conducting a night armed reconnaissance mission along the Ho Chi Minh Trail further to the north. A second A-6 was operating at some distance in trail. The crew of the second aircraft sighted a large fireball estimated to be in the vicinity of Ban Tampanko, Laos. There was no radio contact with either crewman and SAR efforts failed to locate either crew or aircraft.

As of 07 Dec 2002 the remains of the three men have not been repatriated.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
another A-6 crewman,
Ken Davis
03 Dec 2000

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 12/14/2005