Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Korean War, 1950-1953
  • Branch of Service: Air Force
  • Unit of Service: 1st Air Commando Group; 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron
  • Location of Service: California; Texas; Colorado; Illinois; Delaware; Florida; Vietnam; Thailand
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

View full service history

“We would do anything to support troops in combat, even when it seemed impossible to others.” (Memoir, “Air Commando Operations,” page 10)

Flying with the 1st Air Commando Group, Richard E. Pierson engaged in combat in Vietnam long before most US troops arrived in-country. Flying missions out of Bien Hoa from May to October 1963, he was charged with providing air support for both the South Vietnamese and US armies fighting against the Viet Cong. Although officially deemed "combat support," there was no shortage of danger involved in these flights. Pierson’s memoirs are rich with details regarding the historical context and technical aspects of the combat missions he flew. In addition to his reminiscences, his collection also includes the original diaries he kept during his service, on which his memoirs are based, as well as photographs documenting his time in Vietnam.

[ Air Commando Operations [excerpt from unpublished memoir] ]

More Resources

[ Ho Chi Minh Trail Forward Air Controller [excerpt from unpublished memoir] ]
[ Photo Album ]
[ Memoir: "Dix's Commandos (U.S. Air Force)" ]
[ Diary of Richard Pierson [1966-1967] ]
[ Vietnam journal of Richard Pierson ]
[ Excerpt from Diary entry [8/17/1963] ]

Show more resources (1)

[ Mission briefing and map ]

About this Item

Title

  • Richard Earl Pierson Collection

Names

  • Pierson, Richard
  • Pierson, Richard Earl

State of Birth

  • CA

Home State

  • CA

Headings

  • -  Pierson, Richard Earl
  • -  Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Air Force.
  • -  Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Air Force.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • Korean War, 1950-1953

    • Branch of Service: Air Force
    • Location of Service: California; Texas; Colorado; Illinois; Delaware; Florida
    • Dates of Service: 1952-1973
    • Entrance into Service: Commissioned
    • Military Status: Veteran
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975

    • Branch of Service: Air Force
    • Unit of Service: 1st Air Commando Group; 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron
    • Location of Service: Vietnam; Thailand
    • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    • Dates of Service: 1952-1973
    • Entrance into Service: Commissioned
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Memoirs [2 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 2001)
  • Computer File: CD [1 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files (collected unknown)
  • Photograph: Digital Print [41 items] -- Photograph (collected [1952 - 2002])
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [1 item] -- (collected [1952 - 1973])
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2001)
  • Manuscript: Diaries and journals [1 item] -- Handwritten document (collected 1963)
  • Manuscript: Maps [1 item] -- (collected [1963])
  • Manuscript: Diaries and journals [1 item] -- Handwritten document (collected 1966 - 1967)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/2579

Cite as

  • Richard Earl Pierson Collection (AFC/2001/001/2579), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Pierson, Richard, and Richard Earl Pierson. Richard Earl Pierson Collection. 1952. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02579/.

APA citation style:

Pierson, R. & Pierson, R. E. (1952) Richard Earl Pierson Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02579/.

MLA citation style:

Pierson, Richard, and Richard Earl Pierson. Richard Earl Pierson Collection. 1952. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02579/>.