Richard Carl Deuter

United States Navy
15 February 1944 - 01 February 1978
Chicago, Illinois
Panel 16W Line 109

Naval Flight Officer

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Richard C Deuter

The database page for Richard Carl Deuter

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

16 Nov 2001

I've had Richard Deuter's MIA bracelet for many years. I keep him always in my prayers. I have a lot of sad memories from the Vietnam era. My now ex-husband was there in '68-'69 in the Army 101st Airborne. I know that all of us Americans are grateful for his sacrifice. My prayers are also with his family for their sacrifice and loss. I would hope and pray, especially in this time of war on terrorism, that our country never have to experience what happened in Vietnam. I am very proud to have Lt. Deuter's MIA bracelet and will continue to keep him in my prayers. Thanks for the opportunity to leave this message and may God bless America always.

Pamela Atchison
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

19 May 2003

Dick and I went through VT-10 in Pensacola together. We both had requested A-6s and got them but Dick received orders to NAS Whidbey Island and I received orders to NAS Oceania. We tried to get our orders switched because Dick had family on the East Coast and I wanted to go to Whidbey. The detailers wouldn't cooperate because the orders had already been written. I was with VA-85 on the Connie on 22 November 1969 when Dick was lost over Laos. Worst day of my life. We had already lost an F-4 over Laos and only one of the crew had been recovered and then we get the word that two A-6s have been lost and Dick was in one of them. To this day when I think about that day I wonder how things might have been if we had switched orders.

From a fellow A-6 BN and friend,
Michael J Munson
1623 Cold Springs Rd, Weatherford, TX 76088

4 Mar 2005

LTJG Richard Deuter will be remembered by those who know him, and those who have never met, but will eventually understand the concept of his existence. I am proud to say, today, I adopted LTJG Deuter. I want to bring our boys home, whether it be from Vietnam, Korea, or from Iraq. God Bless America, and all those who fight for her.

From an "Adopter",
Heidi Miller

22 Nov 2005

I, like a few others on this page, didn't know Richard Deuter personally, but have come to know his story after receiving a POW/MIA bracelet inscribed with his name.

A friend had told me about the bracelet she wore, and I made a plan to visit the Wall and get a bracelet for myself.

I grew up in Maryland not far from the Naval Academy and was in the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps, so even though I didn't end up entering the military, I am still a strong Navy partisan. That day when I visited the Wall, I requested a bracelet for a Navy service member. There were no Maryland Navy folks on the list of bracelets available, but there was a young Naval Flight Officer - a status to which I once aspired - from Chicago, where my boyfriend was attending college. I had my match.

I think about him every day, and the sacrifice he made for our country. I wear my bracelet not only to keep the memory of this one sailor alive, but also so that it may serve as a constant reminder of the great sacrifice that men and women are making every day so that I can enjoy life.

I share the feelings of others here that it is impossible to repay the debt we owe to these individuals, and I too feel a certain sense of guilt for what happened to Richard, and for my own good fortune.

While they should never be discounted, the thoughts and prayers of our small group of concerned individuals can only do so much; I truly believe the best way to make a difference is to spread the word about the service and sacrifice made by our veterans to everyone else in this country. There are far too many people, young and old alike, who are completely unaware of how lucky they are, and how much these souls paid for our freedom.

Spread the word, so that Richard Deuter, and so many others like him, will live on not just in our hearts, but in the hearts of thousands of others, for years to come.

I have pledged to pause on each November 22nd to honor and remember Richard and spread the word about his sacrifice to my friends, family and associates, and I would encourage all those who visit this page to do the same.

With deepest gratitude,

Emily A. Abell

10 Sep 2006

I'm seventeen years old and plan to fly for the Army or Navy. This summer I stumbled upon Lieutenant Deuter's story and his bracelet through an elderly woman in a shop. I've worn the bracelet every day since then, and wish to add my respects and voice my gratitude for his sacrifice to those who knew him.

Diaen L.
Quincy, Illinois

21 Jan 2008

I have Dick's POW bracelet, too. It was people like Dick who inspired me to join the Navy and fly. I spent 20 years doing it - and I know from personal experience that current military at JTF-FA (Hawaii) and our government are trying to bring Dick and others home. GBU LTjg Deuter.

Cdr Randy Butler (Ret.)

22 Mar 2008

I was in Richard's class at what was then known as "Banana School" at NAS Pensacola in 1967. He and his wife were both first class people and in fact she visited with my wife at the hospital when my son was born. The small gift she presented Carol at the time has been treasured for all these years. We will never forget those two fine individuals and we seriously regret having lost track of Dick's widow... we have often wondered if she returned to Germany or stayed in the U.S.

Oh Father, hear an humble prayer,
For those in peril in the air!

Oh Trinity of love and pow'r,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour,
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them where so e'er they go.

Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea!
- The Navy Hymn [Eternal Father] -

Rest in peace Richard, you are still esteemed by those who knew you.

From a friend,
James Hankins

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Commander L. W. 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 loss mentioned by Mike Munson above was F-4J BuNo 155889 from VF-143, crewed by LTJG Herbert C. Wheeler and LTJG Henry J. Bedinger, who went down while conducting a bombing strike near Ban Nampakhon, Laos. Low clouds required that Wheeler conduct a relatively flat dive delivery, rolling in from less than 8,000 feet. When he attempted to level his wings for the drop, the aircraft refused to follow the control inputs and continued in a left roll and an increasingly steep dive toward the ground. As the aircraft passed through the minimum possible recovery altitude, the crew ejected. LTJG Wheeler was picked up by a USAF "JOLLY GREEN" HH-53A helo, but Bedinger was surrounded by enemy troops and captured. Bedinger eventually was moved to a prison within North Vietnam and was repatriated on 28 March 1973 - one of the few aviators who survived capture in Laos.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a fellow A-6 BN and friend,
Michael J Munson
1623 Cold Springs Rd, Weatherford, TX 76088

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 03 Dec 2000
Last updated 03/23/2008