Karl Wendell Richter

First Lieutenant
United States Air Force
04 October 1942 - 28 July 1967
Holly, MI
Panel 24E Line 013

Karl W Richter


Air Force Cross

Silver Star, DFC (4), Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal (21), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Karl Wendell Richter

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Here am I. Send me."


A USAFA graduate, 1LT Karl W. Richter is credited with 198 combat missions - but he may have flown some additional ones with the Nakon Phanom O-1E folks while on "R&R".

MiG-17 He downed a MiG-17 on 21 September 1966 and earned an Air Force Cross for leading a flak suppression mission up North.

On July 28, 1967, 1LT Richter was checking out a newly assigned pilot. He took his aircraft down on a bridge, instructing the new wingman to stay aloft and observe. His aircraft disabled by flak, he had to punch out over very rough country studded with sharp pinnacles of karst (uneven limestone). The wingman saw a good chute, and an Air Rescue Service force heard Richter's beeper, but when they located him he was near death from multiple injuries probably caused by striking a karst formation. He died aboard the rescue helicopter.

When he died, 1LT Richter held the AFC, Silver Star, DFC (4 awards), Bronze Star, 21 Air Medals - and the Purple Heart. He was the subject of an article in AIR FORCE MAGAZINE; he won the "Jabara" Award; his name graces Richter Hall at the USAF Academy; the 10-foot tall bronze statue of him at Maxwell AFB (AL) contains, on its base, the quote from the Prophet Isaiah; and VFW Post 10217, Korat, Thailand is named for him.

Three months after his death, his daughter, Karla, was born; there is a moving letter from her on the Korat VFW website.

It is appropriate that First Lieutenant Karl Richter's name and photo be part of The Virtual Wall website.

A memorial from one who remembers,
Otto H. Uebel, MSG US Army (Ret)
02 Sep 2001

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index R
MI State Index . Panel 24E


With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)