Honoring & Remembering: Hospitalman 3rd Class James R. Richardson

Jim Richardson

Hospitalman 3rd Class James R. Richardson was  born Sept. 15, 1948 In Sioux Falls, to Ronald and Irene Richardson of Parker.  Jim also graduated from Parker High School in 1966.

He enlisted in Sioux Falls, May of 1967 and was sent to San Diego, CA to the U S Navy Training Camp for nine weeks.

For three months he was at the Belbo Hospital in San Diego, CA being trained to be a hospital corpsman.  He was then sent to Camp Pendleton Marine Base for Medical Field Service School.

After going home on leave for two weeks, Jim was sent to Naval Hospital in Memphis TN, March  30, 1968.

Jim's duties were to give shots, start IVs, ambulance runs, and work on the paraplegic ward with the men who were back from Nam with lost limbs and head injuries. The last couple of months were spent in CSR getting the supplies ready for surgery to their wards.

After a 30 day leave, he flew to Los Angeles to visit his sister then flew with her to San Francisco.  From there he flew to Viet Nam via Tokyo and Okinawa and landed in DaNang.  A helicopter flew him to AnHoa to the 3rd battalion 5th Marines at Kilo Co. base.

His first seven months were spent in the bush, searching for the enemy. He participated in three major combat operations.  HMC Joseph F. Gall, USN stated this: "Upon reporting to this command on 13 Mar 1969, Richardson was assigned to "K" Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines.  He has participated in three major combat operations; Muskogee Meadows, Pipestone Canyon and Durham Peak. During these combat operations HM3 Richardson was a platoon corpsman and exposed many times to hostile fire but never failed to be exceptionally quick to meet any emergency, thus being personally responsible for saving the lives of many marines and giving comfort and aid to many others." 

He goes on to say, "After spending five months with the "K" Company he was assigned to H&S Company at the Forward Battalion Aid Station.  He was responsible for helping with daily "sick call" and giving immunizations to marines of the line companies."

After seven months he was transferred to the 7 Eng. Battalion Aide Station for four months. Jim came home on the USS Tripoli into Long Beach, CA.  After a short leave he found himself in Minneapolis, MN to the Federal Building Induction Center where the draftees received physicals.  His job was an X-ray technician.

In Jim's papers, I found a letter that had been written to his parents from one of his commanding officers, reassuring them that Jim was okay, had received his training and encouraging them to support Jim with mail and prayers.

HMR James R. Richardson received the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Medal with Palm/Frame, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.

He was terminated of Active Duty and transferred to the Naval Reserves until May 7, 1973. But he returned home March 23, 1970.

Jim married Linda Schmeichel, Parker, in August of 1972.  To this union they have three grown children and three grandchildren.

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