Sather, Richard Christian, LTJG

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Primary Designator/NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1964-1964, USS Constellation (CVA-64)
Service Years
1960 - 1964
Lieutenant Junior Grade Lieutenant Junior Grade

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by John Wallace, Jr., CAPT to remember Sather, Richard Christian, LTJG.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Pomona, CA
Last Address
Pomona, CA

Casualty Date
Aug 05, 1964
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, North
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 060 / SECTION X SITE 947

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2013, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2016, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

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Naval Aviator Wings

 Duty Stations
VA-145 SwordsmenUSS Constellation (CVA-64)
  1964-1964, VA-145 Swordsmen
  1964-1964, USS Constellation (CVA-64)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1964-1964 Vietnam War/Advisory Campaign (62-65)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 06, 2012, General Photos3
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Ltjg Richard Christian Sather has the sad distinction of being the first Navy Pilot to die in Vietnam.
Richard Sather was shot down on Aug. 5, 1964, two days before Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that allowed President Lyndon Johnson to wage war as he deemed necessary to defend South Vietnam.

Ltjg Richard Christian Sather was flying the first airstrike on Hanoi when he and LTjg Everett Alvarez were both shot down. Alvarez survived and held a dubious distinction as the first naval aviator POW and longest held (8.5 years) of the war. Dick Sather did not survive, and his remains were not returned to U.S. control until 1985, when he was identified at the Central Identification Lab Hawaii (CILHI).



Name of Award
Distiguished Flying Cross 
Year Awarded
Details behind Awards:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Richard Christian Sather, United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as Pilot of an aircraft in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE (VA-145), aboard U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (CVA-64). Participating in a flight of four aircraft which located and was fired on by five major gunboats in an area north of Loc Chau, North Vietnam, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Sather carried out three damaging attacks against two of the largest craft before his plane crashed into the water between them. He contributed materially to the success of his flight in inflicting severe damage on the gunboats.

General Orders: All Hands (March 1965)
Action Date: August 5, 1964
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Squadron: Attack Squadron 145 (VA-145)
Ship: U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64)
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