Richard Joseph Tallman

Brigadier General
Army of the United States
28 March 1925 - 09 July 1972
Honesdale, Pennsylvania
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CIB 3rd

Richard Tallman

The database page for Richard Joseph Tallman

7 Jul 2001

Brigadier General Tallman was a veteran of WWII, Korea, and two previous tours in Vietnam prior to his untimely death when he and my classmate Major Peter Bentson were killed in action in Binh Long, RVN. I fondly remember General Tallman's concerned patient mentorship for me and many other soldiers who served with him over the years. It is with deep gratitude we are remembering you and all the others who served and died in times of war so that we may enjoy the Freedom and Liberties that make the United States of America great.

A memorial initiated by his West Point Comrade, USMA 1963,
Clark T. Ballard, Jr., M.D., Colonel, U S Army (Ret)
66 Leschi Drive, Steilacoom, WA 98388-1514

13 Jan 2004

Thirty one years later we continue to articulate the clear, direct, and rational values of our father. Richard J. Tallman was a man who could see to the heart of a problem, find a solution, and act on it without second guessing himself. He always did the right thing because it was the right thing to do. He provided a compassionate, steady, and no-nonsense standard for all of us. We grew to adulthood with a definitive understanding of him and his expectations of us in spite of the fact that he was not with us.

Through the years as we have each married and had our own children, we have continued to pass on the essence of our father. We are lucky to have our mother with us still. She likes to remind her grandchildren of our father's humble beginnings. She gives my grandmother full credit for raising a boy who was unwilling to move from his core values; creating a man who made a difference and who is not forgotten.

Submitted by
Susan Tallman Shams,
the fifth of seven Tallman children.
Mother of five (and aunt to nineteen)
amazing young adults and children.

17 Sep 2005

I had the privilege of serving with BG Tallman when he was a Lieutenant Colonel and commanded the 2d Bn, 501st Inf, 101st Abn Div in 1968-68. I was First Sergeant of A Co, 2d Bn, 501st Inf. LTC Tallman was an outstanding soldier and was well respected and thought of by the men under him.

1SG Fred C. Brander (Ret)
626 Greenwood Ave, Clarksville, Tn 37040=3716

A Note from The Virtual Wall

As American forces were withdrawn from South Vietnam the command structure necessarily changed. On 20 April 1971 the Third [Military] Regional Assistance Command (TRAC) was formed from the assets of the II Field Force headquarters at Long Binh. TRAC was responsible for overseeing U. S. Military Advisors throughout the 3rd Military Region.

The battle for An Loc, capital of Binh Long Province, was one of the most important battles of the Vietnam War. It began during the 1972 North Vietnamese Spring Offensive, after most U.S. combat troops had departed South Vietnam, and extended over two months. The battle resulted in the virtual destruction of three North Vietnamese divisions and blocked a Communist attack on Saigon. The sustained intensity of combat during this battle had not been previously seen in the Vietnam War.

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Willbanks, US Army (Ret), participated in the Battle of An Loc as an advisor to the 43d ARVN Regiment. He later wrote a study of the battle for the Army Command and General Staff College. LTC Willbanks recalls the death of Brigadier General Tallman as follows:

"On 9 July, Brigadier General Richard Tallman, General McGiffert's successor as General Hollingsworth's deputy (who had been promoted to his rank only eight days earlier), landed in the city with several of his key staff officers to observe the progress of ARVN operations and coordinate the reinforcement effort. They were met by two advisers from the 18th ARVN Division, Major Joe Hallum of the 48th Regiment Advisory Team and the author [then-Captain Willbanks], who had joined the 43d [ARVN] Regiment after TF 52 was evacuated from the city earlier. As the helicopter departed, the general's party was struck by enemy artillery fire. Three American officers accompanying Tallman - Lieutenant Colonel Stanley Kuick, Major Richard Benson, and First Lieutenant Richard Todd - and Sergeant Son, an ARVN interpreter, were killed instantly. General Tallman, Major Hallum, and Captain Willbanks were wounded by the incoming fire. They were immediately evacuated by U.S. medevac helicopter to 3d Field Hospital in Saigon, where the general, mortally wounded, died on the operating table. The other two officers later recovered from their wounds."
The four Americans who died in this incident have been remembered on The Virtual Wall: Oddly, the casualty records for these four officers are coded as "death by misadventure", the term used for death by friendly fire. Given LTC Willbanks' description of the event and the fact that An Loc was under extremely heavy bombardment by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong artillery throughout the two-month period, it seems unlikely in the extreme that friendly artillery would be so far off target as to hit the helipad.

General Tallman was the last of eleven general and flag officers to die in Vietnam - six in action, three in aircraft accidents, and two by illness.

Richard Tallman

The photo above was taken at Cu Chi in 1968 when then-LTC Tallman commanded 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry. Left to right are Luther Lassiter, 1Lt Michael Roberts, Lt Zaikis, and LTC Richard J Tallman.

On 18 June 1971, then-Colonel Tallman became commander of the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009