COL Richard D. Hooker - Last CO in Vietnam

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COL Richard D. Hooker - Last CO in Vietnam

Postby Jim Sheppard » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:40 pm

From: Hooker Jr, Richard (DR US CIV/INSS)
Sent: ‎Thursday‎, ‎March‎ ‎19‎, ‎2015 ‎2‎:‎40‎ ‎PM
To: ''

Dear Mr. Segars,

As President of the 1/50th Association, I write to inform you of the death last October of my father, COL Dick Hooker, who was the last wartime commander of the battalion. He passed away at age 80 in his home in Preston MD on the banks of the Choptank River. His funeral will be held at Arlington on April 8th at 1100, with a service at the Memorial chapel at 0900. I have asked the current commander of the battalion to have the battalion colors present at the ceremony and am waiting for his reply.

The attached article, “Play The Game” was published last year in Army Magazine. I hope you will feel free to share with your fellow veterans. The battalion meant a lot to Dad and he spoke of it often.

With thanks and grateful appreciation for your gallant service,

COL Rich Hooker, USA (Ret)
HOOKER Colonel RICHARD D. HOOKER, SR. (Ret.) Colonel Richard "Dick" Hooker, Sr. passed away on October 24, 2014 at his home in Preston, MD at the age of 80. A native of Pass Christian, Mississippi, Colonel Hooker graduated with Distinguished Honors and an active duty commission from the ROTC program at the University of Mississippi, where he also served as president of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and editor of the university newspaper. Colonel Hooker initially served with the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, and then with the 8th Division Airborne Brigade in Mainz, Germany. Following the advanced infantry officer course and one year of Vietnamese language training, he began the first of three tours in Vietnam as an advisor to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment, 5th Army of the Republic of Vietnam Division, followed by assignment as aide-de-camp to General William Westmoreland, Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam. He then served as an instructor at the Armor School, Fort Knox, before attending Command and General Staff College and then returning to the Republic of Vietnam to serve as G3 Plans Officer, HQ IFFV, Nha Trang, and subsequently assuming command of the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry (M), then attached to TF South, Phan Thiet. Following five years in the Pentagon with the Army Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colonel Hooker was assigned to the U.S. Military Mission to Iran. This tour of duty was followed by assignments as Army attaché to the Philippines, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Military Training Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and immediately thereafter as Chief, Office of Military Cooperation, Beirut, Lebanon and Senior U.S. Defense Representative to Lebanon. Colonel Hooker completed his military career in Washington, DC as Special Assistant to the Defense Intelligence Officer for Asia, Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon. He retired from active duty in 1987 after 31 years of service. His awards and decorations included three awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, eight air medals, various meritorious and commendation medals, and the Lebanese Order of the Cedars, Degree of Commander, Vietnamese Medal of Honor, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He had also been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachute Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, Saudi Arabian Parachute Badge and Philippine Army Parachute Badge. Following his retirement, Colonel Hooker was a consultant, editor and writer, and lived on the Choptank River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie McLemore Hooker, and is survived by three children: Dorothy Hooker Pearce of Newport News, VA, Colonel Richard D. Hooker Jr. of McLean, VA, and MaryAnne Martin of Smithfield, VA; seven grandchildren: Megan Duncan, Evelyn Pearce, Christoper Hooker, Richard David Hooker III, Rachel Dees, Price Martin, and Victoria Martin; and a great-granddaughter, Cadence Duncan. Interment with full military honors will follow at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Talbot Hospice Foundation, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, Maryland 21601.Interment with full military honors will follow at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Talbot Hospice Foundation, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, Maryland 21601.
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