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Richard Creighton '70

Date of birth: April 27, 1947

Date of death: June 24, 1977

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1970 Lucky Bag:


From UPI on June 26, 1977:

A routine night training mission ended in tragedy for three Navy flyers who were killed when their helicopter crashed during a landing attempt. A board of Inquiry began an Investigation of Friday night's crash on the airfield at the Patuxent Naval Air Test Center to determine the cause, a Navy spokesman said Saturday. The victims were identified as pilot Lt. Walter S. Howdyshell, 29, of New Lexington, Ohio; co-pilot Lt. Richard A. Creighton, 30, of Los Alamitos, Calif.; and Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert M. Emery Jr. 20, of Williams, Ore. The men were participating in a night training mission to qualify or upgrade crew members' night flight status. The Navy requires flyers to log a minimum amount of hours in the air each month to retain their qualifications for night flights. "The helicopter was in a landing phase when it crashed on the runway," a Navy spokesman said. "It had been up for almost two hours before the accident occurred. There was a fire when the fuel ignited after the impact, which is normal." The anti-submarine helicopter was assigned to the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One, headquartered in Norfolk, Va. It was equipped with sonar devices used to track submarines for nearby ships. The squadron compliments the test center's work on antisubmarine warfare by conducting operational testing of antisubmarine craft, the spokesman said.


From the September 1977 issue of Shipmate:

Lt. Richard Alexander Creighton USN died on 24 June 1977 in an aircraft accident at the Naval Air Station, Patuxent, Maryland. Memorial services were held at the Main Chapel, Patuxent River, on 27 June and interment took place at Point Loma National Cemetery, San Diego, on 30 June.

A native of California, he was graduated with the Class of 1970 at the Naval Academy. While at the Academy he was outstanding in both academics and athletics, carrying a scholastic overload and playing varsity baseball. He reported to the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey immediately upon graduation from the Academy and received the degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering prior to reporting to flight school in 1971. After receiving his wings he served with helicopter squadrons HSL-31 and HSL-33 in San Diego, and at the time of his death he was assigned to VPX-1, Patuxent River.

He is survived by his widow, Carol, 403 Town Creek Drive, Lexington Park MD 20653, a son, and his parents of 12131 Chaucer Road, Los Alamitos CA 90720.

He is buried in California.


From the Class of 1970 40th Reunion Book:

Following graduation Rick went to Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, in the Master’s program in electrical engineering. In February 1971, Rick and I were married and moved to Pacific Grove. In the summer of 1971, Rick began flight school, receiving his wings in 1972. His first assignment was to HSL-33, Naval Air Station Imperial Beach, California. In 1975 Rick went to Patuxent River NAS to VX-1. In April 1977 Rick and I joyfully welcomed our son, Benjamin Vance Creighton, into the world and in June we lost Rick in a helicopter accident.

Ben, like his father, graduated from Wilson High School in Long Beach as both a scholar and athlete. Ben attended Yale University and graduated with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science in 1999. Ben was recruited by Bain Consulting and started his career in their Los Angeles office. Subsequently, he has worked for Universal Music Group, Universal Studios and is now general manager of Stems & Bunches, a Teleflora company. In 2003, Ben married Eleanor Hsu. Ellie is a Director of International Marketing for Warner Brothers.

Although Rick and Ben had only two months of life together, there are expressions, nuances, and a grace that they strongly share. I know that Rick would be as proud as I am of the man who is our son. Carol Creighton


A special memorial website has been added for 3 great men who sacrificed there lives for this great country serving in the US Navy.

In Memory of LT. Rick Creighton,
LT. Steven Howdyshell,
And AW2 Bob Embry

They will never be forgotten and be a part of my life forever. AD2 Jim Johnson

From Forever Missed:

Lt Creighton was a great leader and was respected and loved by all of my fellow Aircrew. He was fun loving and supportive of the men and families under his wing, (no women Aircrew at the time). A very funny guy too. He could be firm, when the situation called for it, but let the Chiefs in our shop do their jobs, showing them the respect they deserved. It was a sad day for us when he died. AW2 Bill Clark, June 2, 2018

Related Articles

Charles Jackson '70 was also in 8th Company.

Class of 1970

Richard is one of 20 members of the Class of 1970 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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