Document Type

Oral History

Interviewee name

Richard T. Cross


Stephen D. Rees, Jr.

Interview date


Interview location

Lewiston, Maine





Download Transcript (387 KB)

Streaming Media

Media is loading


Capt. Richard T. “Dick” Cross, interviewed by Stephen D. Rees, Jr. on June 30, 1999, at the Muskie Archives, Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine. Cross discusses dropping out of college in 1965 and being drafted the following year; having no concerns about being drafted or deployment to Vietnam; volunteering for Officer Candidate School in 1967; being accepted to computer repair school but turning down the opportunity to “be a grunt” then volunteering for flight training because it paid $110 more per month; and training to become a helicopter pilot. Cross tells of arriving in Vietnam in September 1968, post Tet; arriving in Cam Ranh Bay and being assigned to the 1st Aviation Brigade, B Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry; his first impressions getting off the plane in Vietnam; his first impressions of Pleiku and Phan Thiet. He describes the makeup of the squadron, typical duties; attitudes among non-commissioned officers toward commissioned officers and enlisted men; and relates a story about his first combat mission. Cross talks about returning to the states in September 1969 and being assigned to do helicopter pilot training at Fort Walters, Texas where he scheduled and set up training cycles and producing training materials; flying Scouts and OH-6s; getting married and returning to Vietnam for a second tour of duty in 1970 where he was assigned to 1st Cavalry Division, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion stationed in Phu Vinh where he was put into B Company flying Slicks; going on Night Hawk missions. He relates a story about coming under heavy fire during one mission only later finding a bullet hole in his cap; describes going on R&R. Cross provides his perspective on the perception of the media’s role in shaping public perception of the war; his frustration over how the war was managed by American leaders; the impact of post-traumatic stress; attempting to use his GI Bill to attend the University of Texas before taking a series of pilot and instructor jobs before going back into the Army and flying until retiring in 1991. Text: 39 pp. transcript. Audio: mfc_na4500_01A (note: first few minutes is recorded at wrong speed). Time: 02:07:59.


Part 1. mfc_na4500_01A
Part 2. mfc_na4500_01B
Part 3. mfc_na4500_02A


Military History | Oral History | United States History

Birth date




Nation of origin

United States

Home state/Territory






Branch of service

U.S. Army

Service Unit

1st Aviation Brigade, B Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry (first tour); 1st Cavalry Division 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, B Company (second tour)

Dates of service

1966 - 1975, 1980-1991, Vietnam September 1968 - September 1969; September 1970 - September 1971

Date of entry

June 1966

Service entry


Location of Service

Pleiku, Vietnam (first tour); Phu Vinh (second tour)

Awards & Ribbons

Purple Heart

Wars & Conflicts

Vietnam War

Entry Rank

O-1 2nd Lieutenant

Highest Rank

O-3 Captain

Exit Rank

O-3 Captain


Roger Cox


Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort McClellan, Alabama; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Walters, Texas; Cam Ranh Bay; Pleiku; South China Sea; Phan Thiet; Fort Walters, Texas; Bien Hòa; Phu Vinh; Hong Kong; Singapore; Germany; Austin, Texas; Corpus Christi, Texas; Honduras


Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Military helicopters; Bell H-13 Sioux (Helicopter); Hughes TH-55 (Helicopter); OH-23 Raven (Helicopter); Huey Cobra (Helicopter); OH-6 Cayuse (Helicopter); Kit Carson; Bell UH-1H Iroquois (Helicopter); Bell AH-1 Cobra (Helicopter); Rest and Recreation (R&R)

Collection name

Maine Vietnam Veterans Oral History

Collection number


Item number


Rights and Access Note

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for non-commercial uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). For more information, contact Special Collections.

Dick Cross, interviewed by Stephen D. Rees, Jr., Part 2



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted