Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Richard “Dick” Cullen Brims, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Fallen)December 27, 1945 – May 21, 1986
Dick is a U.S. Air Force Vietnam Veteran
At the time of his death Dick left behind his wife, Christina; his mother, Mrs Quindanell Brims (MHS Nurse, from 1964 until her retirement in 1984, also deceased 06-04-1999; his sisters, Janet (Brims ) Fukuda, MHS; 1976 and Susan/Nancy Brims, MHS; 1976.
Dick was a Major in the U.S. Air Force, and was a highly decorated helicopter pilot, receiving the Air Force Cross for heroism for flying rescue during the Mayaguez rescue mission. The Air Force Cross is the Air Force’s 2nd highest award. Only the Medal of Honor ranks higher in order of precedence. *See the Full Text Citations for Award of the Air Force Cross In Action other than Vietnam. “Valor”, the Air Force Magazine, Journal of the Air Force Association, dated September 1991, Vol. 74, No. 9 published an article by Contributing Editor, John L. Frisbee, titled: “The Mayaguez Incident.”
Dick was one of four to receive the distinguished Air Force Cross award for the unsurpassed heroism performed; they were the last to be accorded that honor in Southeast Asia. “The Last Battle of Vietnam.” By Ric Hunter, dated 04/2000, is a 25 year retrospective article of the SS Mayaguez Incident.
In his sophomore year of high school, Dick was a member of Senior Class Council. In 1964, he was 1, of only 10 selected seniors, to attend a special class to increase their knowledge of computers, that was held only once a week at MHS. Dick was 1 of only 7 seniors that graduated with Highest Distinction.
Dick last resided in Niceville, Okaloosa County, Florida.
Interment: Major Richard Cullen Brims, United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, El Paso County, Colorado USA, Section 006, Row A, Plot 030. *Information shared by Dick’s sisters, Janet (Brims) Fakuda and Susan/Nancy Brims: MHS; 1976
Then Major Brims was killed in an HH-53H accident during exercise “Elated Cyclone” in the Nevada test range on May 21, 1986.
He was engaged in testing the limits of the HH-53H helicopter and crew. The aircraft impacted the ridgeline at night during formation approach at Exercise “Elated Cyclone” near Nellis AFB, Nevada.
He was posthumously promoted to Lt. Colonel and is buried at the U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
AIR FORCE CROSS
His Citation is as follows:
The Air Force Cross is presented to Richard C. Brims, First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Helicopter Aircraft Commander on 15 May, 1975. On that date, while engaged in the recovery of the S.S. Mayaguez and crew, Lieutenant Brims successfully landed United States Marines on Koh Tang Island despite overwhelming ground fire. Prior to leaving the island, Lieutenant Brims held his position against heavy ground fire and managed to extract five seriously wounded Marines. He then twice flew his aircraft into intense ground fire, successfully removing remaining groups of United States Marines. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Lieutenant Brims reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
~ VETERANS TRIBUTE ~