From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Richard Nein '53

Date of birth: April 2, 1931

Date of death: November 8, 1954

Age: 23

Lucky Bag

From the 1953 Lucky Bag:


Richard was lost when his F86 crashed on November 8, 1954. He was a student pilot flying from Nellis AFB in Nevada. He was survived by his wife, Phyllis, and is buried in Pennsylvania. His daughter was born exactly nine months later. (Via an email from his granddaughter on February 13, 2018.)

He was a member of the 3595th Combat Crew Training Wing.


READING EAGLE Obituary - published Tuesday, 9 November 1954

Former Local Athlete Lt. Richard A. Nein - Berks Pilot Dies in Crash

Lt. Richard A. Nein, 23, Loses Life Near Las Vegas, Nev.

Local relatives today awaited further details of the Navy jet plane crash which, yesterday, claimed the life of 2nd Lt. Richard A. Nein, 23, of Lauers Lane, Sinking Spring, R.D. 1.

Lt. Nein, a former Reading High School and Naval Academy athlete, was killed yesterday when his plane crashed near Las Vegas, Nev. His father, Robert L. Nein, was informed of the tragedy in a telegram from the commanding general of Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. The officer, Brig. Gen. J. E. Roberts, said the accident happened at Indian Springs Air Force Base.

Officials at the base said Lt. Nein was on a routine gunnery mission at the time. Nellis Air Force Base is the most advanced jet training base in the western section of the country.

Married Last March

Lt. Nein's wife, the former Phyllis Labe, resided in a trailer near the base. The couple was married last March. Both were graduates of Reading High School Class of 1949.

Mrs. Nein's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Labe, 1154 Church Street, learned of the death of their son-in-law from the AF base chaplain. The chaplain told Mrs. Labe her daughter was unable to talk to them because of her condition but would call when she could.

The chaplain then informed Mrs. Labe that her daughter would be flown home in a plane provided by the Navy.

Lt. Nein had been at the Nevada base for three months attending a gunnery school. He was scheduled to leave Wednesday, Nov. 17, and spend a 50 day furlough before leaving for an overseas assignment in Germany.

Reading High Graduate

He was graduated from the Reading High School in 1949. He immediately entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD., on a congressional appointment from former Congressman Frederick A. Muhlenberg.

While at Reading High School, he was a three letterman in sports, playing quarterback in football, a guard on the basketball team, and second baseman on the baseball team.

At the Naval Academy, he received three varsity letters in playing football on the 150 pound team, and class numerals in basketball and lacrosse. In his senior year he coached the 150 pound team.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant on his graduation from the academy on June 5th, 1953, and assigned to the Air Force.

Won Wings at Greenville

Lt. Nein received his preflight training at Marianna, Fla. and won his wings at an advanced flight training base at Greenville Mass.

A native of Reading, he was a son of Robert L. and the late Emma V. (Fischer) Nein, and a member of Holy Spirit Lutheran Church.

He is survived by, in addition to his father and his widow, these brothers and sisters: Robert K., Richmond, Va., Pvt. Wilbur Frank, in Korea; Esther, wife of John Hessler, and Mrs. Margaret Osman, both of Hollywood, Fla.; Betty, wife of Robert Gromis, 725 Avenue A, Glenside, and Patricia, wife of Wilbur Lutz, Lauer's Lane in Sinking Spring.

Class of 1953

Richard is one of 62 members of the Class of 1953 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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