FIRST LIEUTENANT KARL W. RICHTER

First Lieutenant Karl W. Richter, U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 1964, was posthumously awarded the 1969 Jabara Award for his heroic actions in the air over Southeast Asia.

He was assigned to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in the spring of 1966 and on Sept. 21, at the age of 23, he became the youngest pilot ever to shoot down a MIG fighter.

After completing his first 100-mission tour, Lieutenant Richter volunteered for a second 100-mission tour.  On July 28, 1967, while on his 198th mission, his aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire.  He ejected safely, but was critically injured when he landed in mountainous terrain.  Lieutenant Richter died in the rescue helicopter while enroute to the hospital.

Lieutenant Richter’s decorations and service awards include the Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 21 oak leaf clusters, and the Purple Heart.  A cafeteria located in Arnold Hall, the cadet social center, is named in honor of Lieutenant Richter.

(Current as of July 2016)