Fort Bragg in Cumberland County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Meadows Memorial Parade Field
In Memory of Major Richard J. Meadows
—16 June 1931 – 29 July 1995 —
Location. 35° 6.582′ N, 79° 0.104′ W. Marker is in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in Cumberland County. Marker can be reached from Desert Storm Drive 0.1 miles west of Yadkin Road & Reilly Street intersection when traveling east. Touch for map. On the grounds of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, near northeast corner of visitors parking lot and the far east side of the memorial parade field. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2929 Desert Storm Drive, Fort Bragg NC 28310, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. USASOC Memorial Wall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); T-8 90mm Antitank Gun (approx. 1.8 miles away); M-56 Scorpion Self-Propelled Antitank Gun (approx. 1.8 miles away); Fairchild C-119 "Flying Boxcar" (approx. 1.8 miles away); M-551A1 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle (approx. 1.8 miles away); UH-1A Iroquois Utility Helicopter (approx. 1.8 miles away); 328th Infantry Rock (approx. 1.8 miles away); 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Bragg.
Regarding Meadows Memorial Parade Field. Meadows Memorial Parade Field
Meadows enlisted in the Army at age 15. He first saw combat in Korea and was, by age 19, the youngest Master Sergeant in the Army at that time. In 1953, he entered the U.S. Army Special Forces and remained active in them or the Rangers until his retirement in 1977. His participation in the Iran Hostage Rescue mission came after his official retirement.
In 1960, Meadows was one of the first U.S. Army officers to participate in an exchange program with the British Special Air Service special forces unit. Meadows completed SAS training, was an acting troop leader for 12 months, and participated in a field combat operation with his unit. It is widely believed that Meadows' SAS experience helped form the basis for future US Army special forces selection, training, and organizational structures.
While assigned to the 8th Special Forces Group in Panama, MSgt. Meadows volunteered for a tour in Vietnam. At the end of his first tour, serving in the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group, Meadows received a direct commission as a captain
On Nov 21, 1970 Capt. Meadows was the team leader for the initial assault team in the Son Tay prison camp raid (see Operation Ivory Coast). This 14-man team (plus pilots), code-named Blueboy, intentionally crash-landed an HH-3 helicopter right in the middle of the prison camp to achieve maximum surprise. One team member was injured in the landing (broken ankle). The remaining team members executed their mission without further casualties. However, much to Meadows' disappointment, the prison camp had moved all its captives weeks earlier.
In the mid-1970s, Meadows was a key figure in the founding of the US Delta Force special operations and hostage rescue force.
Major Meadows retired in 1977.
In 1980, Major Meadows returned to service as a special consultant and performed a covert reconnaissance of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran prior to and during Operation Eagle Claw, better known as the Iran Hostage Rescue mission. That mission ended in a major accident at a ground refueling point in the Iran desert, and was aborted. Documents found at the crash site compromised both the mission and Meadows' cover in Iran. Under cover as a foreign businessman, Meadows escaped Iran aboard a commercial flight.
In 1995, Meadows was diagnosed and died of Leukemia. It is contended by many in the Special Forces community that, had the contents of Meadows' military record been disclosed, he would have earned the Medal of Honor instantly. However, the majority of Meadows' black-ops in Vietnam working with the CIA's Special Activities Division, remain undisclosed.
His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Air Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist badge, Glider Badge, Ranger Tab, Scuba Badge, and numerous foreign awards.
Just before his death, in July, 1995, Meadows was told he was to be presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Clinton.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia: Richard J. Meadows. (Submitted on June 3, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
2. Major Richard J. Meadows Military Biography. 35 page biographical memorial to Dick Meadows, "A Quiet Professional" (Submitted on June 3, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
3. SpecialOperations.com: A Special Warrior's Last Patrol. Tribute to Dick Meadows by Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.) (Submitted on June 3, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
Categories. • 20th Century • Heroes • Military • Notable Persons • Patriots & Patriotism • War, Korean • War, Vietnam •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 2, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This page has been viewed 2,933 times since then and 201 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 2, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 4. submitted on June 3, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.