From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Richard Sampson '38

Date of birth: March 23, 1915

Date of death: April 4, 1945

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


Richard was lost on April 4, 1945 when the F6F-5 he was piloting crashed during a strafing attack on trucks in southern Okinawa.

He was Commander of Air Group 40, aboard USS Suwannee (CVE 27).

His wife was listed as next of kin. He has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.


From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

  • Date of rank LTJG from 1 Jul 1941 USN Register, 6/2/1941
  • NAS Pensacola attached for HTA flight training, 7/24/1941
  • NAS Pensacola designated NA # 11009, 2/16/1942
  • Date of rank LT from 1 Jul 1942 USN Register, 6/15/1942
  • Date of rank LCDR from 1 Jul 1944 USN Register, 3/1/1944
  • CVEG-40 (1st CAG) /VF-40 (CO) NAS San Diego, 6/1/1944
  • CVEG-40 (1st CAG) /VF-40 (CO) USS Suwannee (CVE-27) DFC PH KIA BNR, 4/5/1945


From Naval Historical Center:

Ensign Richard D. Sampson was an officer on USS Helena in 1940. Born on 23 March 1915, he had graduated from the U.S. Naval Class in 1938. Following his Helena service, he trained as a Naval Aviator and reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

He took a picture of the wreck of Admiral Graf Spee in February 1940 "for an intelligence report prepared by USS Helena (CL 50) during her shakedown cruise to South America."

Class of 1938

Richard is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.