Lieut Richard Elmo Hood, Jr

Photo added by Ron Meier

Lieut Richard Elmo Hood, Jr

  • Birth 7 Sep 1944 Florida, USA
  • Death 22 Jun 1967 Vietnam
  • Burial Winter Haven, Polk County, Florida, USA
  • Plot Sec D, Lot 59, Space 7
  • Memorial ID 55218553

Richard's short life was one of dedication to Duty, Honor, Country, God, and family. His character was an inspiration to and was admired by young and old. It brought him wide ecognition.

In high school he was President of the Student Council, Vice-president of the Florida Association of Student Councils, and a representative not only to the American Legion Florida Boys State, but also to Boys Nation in Washington. He was President of the National Honor Society. He was chosen by his classmates as "the one most likely to succeed" and as the most outstanding member of his class. Richard's father, grandfather and great-grandfather all served in the military.

At West Point he was a member of the Debate Team, Student Council and Forum, Public Relations Council, and the Sky Diving Club. At graduation, he was one of those selected to
represent the Academy and Class of 1966 on the American Broadcasting Company television program, "Scope" as a volunteer for Vietnam.

Following graduation from both Ranger and Airborne schools, he spent five months at Fort Carson, Colorado, where he was presented a plaque by his men that expressed "deep respect and admiration for your leadership and understanding, a man we are proud to serve under." His last assignment was with Company A, 2d Battalion, 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade — he was in Vietnam only two weeks. Lieutenant Hood has been honored posthumously
by receiving the Silver Star for gallantry in action, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the National Order of the Republic of Vietnam, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm. A living memorial has been established for him in the erecting and furnishing of a youth recreation building on grounds given by the American Legion Post in Winter Haven, and by contributions from friends.

The bronze dedicatory plaque, presented by his close friend and classmate, First Lieutenant William Karl Bergman, reads in part "He did his Duty as he saw it, with Honor he served his Country, now he serves his God." The local Daughters of the American Revolution have named a chapter for him. The 1967 session of Florida Boys State was dedicated to his memory, and tribute was paid him in the House of Representatives by Congressman James A. Haley of Florida, who appointed him to the Academy.

Friends and classmates may be interested in the citation accompanying his Silver Star:

"On 22 June 1967, Lieutenant Hood's platoon was in a company movement deep in the jungles of Kontum province. Moving through dense vegetation, the platoon made contact with a North Vietnamese Army unit estimated to be of battalion size, and immediately sustained heavy casualties. Ordering his men to seek cover and set up a defensive perimeter. Lieutenant Hood moved through the intense incoming enemy automatic weapons fire to insure that his platoon was intact.

"Through the ensuing seven-hour battle he personally directed the retaliatory fires of his platoon, repeatedly exposing himself to hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire. Although the unit was outnumbered and casualties were beginning to mount, Lieutenant Hood remained calm regardless of the fact that he lost communications almost immediately. Lieutenant
Hood, realizing that the unit was completely surrounded and out of ammunition, continued to fight the enemy to the last with trip flares, constantly giving words of encouragement to his men.'

Richard was the only son of Eloise and Elmo Hood. He will always be remembered proudly by them, his sister Christine, his family and friends-and, we trust, by his Country and his God. For, "To live in the hearts and minds of one's friends is to live forever."

USMA AOG Memorial:

Added July 3, 2016
"Rich was my Plebe year roommate who came from Florida and was exceptionally bright and highly motivated. He was totally dedicated to his goal of becoming a good and effective Army leader. When he joined the 173rd ABN Brigade in the "Hill Country Battles", he and his unit became trapped in an impossible situation and although he distinguished himself leading and supporting his men, he was taken too soon from this life. I will never forget my "brother", Rich." By Bill Haneke

Family Members






  • Maintained by: Peyton Ligon
  • Originally Created by: John Boyd
  • Added: 20 Jul 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 55218553
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut Richard Elmo Hood, Jr (7 Sep 1944–22 Jun 1967), Find A Grave Memorial no. 55218553, citing Lakeside Memorial Park, Winter Haven, Polk County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Peyton Ligon (contributor 48079303) .