Richard Linde was born on December 20, 1940 to Elmer Linde and Geraldine Pittillo. Richard had three siblings Pearl, Barbara, and Gary. The family lived in Miamitown, Ohio. Richard attended Miamitown High School until 1956 and then worked as an auto mechanic and truck driver until joining the military in January of 1966. A member of his family reached out to learn more about his life, and with their permission, this is what I was able to find.
Richard completed bootcamp at Camp Pendleton and was deployed to Vietnam in September of 1966. He served as a Private First Class in the US Marine Corp as a Rifleman. There were several stories written by the Cincinnati Enquirer that shed light on his service. He was the oldest man in his platoon and was sometimes called, “Pops”. He was known to share cigarettes with the other men, and when his Christmas package came early, he shared that too.
On December 21, 1966, he was point man of his squad when it was sent out to clear a Viet Cong machine gun position which had elements of the company pinned down near Da Nang Dead and wounded marines were trapped and Pfc Linde and his platoon were determined to bring them out. Unhesitatingly, he began a systematic and effective move on the flank of the position, his citation states, continuously firing his weapon, he directed the fire of his squad. Unable to advance against the deadly, accurate, fire or place grenades on the target. Pfc Linde attempted to reduce the enemy position by direct assault. The Viet Cong machine gunner caught Pfc Linde with deadly accuracy and Pfc Linde fell, mortally wounded. His daring actions gave his men a chance to advance and the enemy was forced to withdraw. The platoon was able to provide protection for the dead and wounded Marines until reinforcements arrived.”Cincinnati Enquirer
His family was notified of his death via telegram. Richard’s body was recovered and returned to his family for burial. He was 26 years old.
“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity. Inspiring valor and loyal devotion in the face of great personal risk. Pfc Linde upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps. He gallantly gave his life for his country.” He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. It was presented by Lt. Gen. Lewis Walt to Richard’s family at a ceremony in September 1967.
Memorial Day is our national holiday to remember those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. This is one of many stories of brave men and women who sacrificed their own lives to protect others.
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