Vietnam Center and Archive Collection Finding Aid

Collection Finding Aid

Title
Richard D. Besley Collection
Association
C-7A Caribou Association
Collection Number
1794
Date(s)
Undated
Physical Location(s)
Slide Collection
Processed by
R. Grau, Aug. 2006[Updated: Jan. 2010 by J. Saffell]
Digitization Status
Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

To search for items within this collection, or within all of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, go to the Virtual Vietnam Archive

Scope and Content

124 slides document Besley's tour of duty in Vietnam from November 1967 to November 1968.

Biographical Note

Richard Besley was born on 3 August 1931 in Columbia Cross Roads, Pennsylvania. In 1953, Besley volunteered and was commissioned into the United States Air Force through the ROTC at the University of Texas, beginning a total of thirty years of service. From 1954 through 1960, Besley served with Military Air Transport Service/Military Airlift Command. In 1960 he transferred to Air Force Systems Command and in 1966 was transferred again to USAF Headquarters. Besley then began a one year tour of duty in Vietnam beginning in 1967 with the 535th Tactical Airlift Squadron, stationed out of Vung Tau Army Airfield, where he was ranked as a Major and served as a Squadron Instructor Pilot and Squadron Administrative Officer. During this time, Besley flew missions for the 5th Special Forces Group and Air America and was involved in the Tet Offensive of 1968 and "2nd Tet" in May 1968. In 1969, Besley was transferred back to Headquarters, USAF. During this time, Besley was told to not wear his uniform to work and was present at the Pentagon as individuals protested the war, including one instance when protestor smashed bags of blood on the entrances. In 1972 he became a faculty member of the Armed Forces Staff College, until 1976 when he returned to USAF Headquarters until his retirement in December 1982, having spent 1978 - 1981 with Headquarters Tactical Air Command. Besley retired as a Colonel, having received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and various campaign ribbons and Vietnamese medals, and returned to his family farm where he raised Hereford beef cattle. He is a member of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Association the VFW, the American Legion, and the C-7 Caribou Association and is active in the Lions Club, the Boy Scouts of America and the United Methodist Church.

Rights and Access

Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research

Separated Materials

Slides
124 slides taken by Besley.

Digitized Materials

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

To search for items within this collection, or within all of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, go to the Virtual Vietnam Archive