Specialist Four Richard Roy Bellwood was born on 18 January 1949 to Roy and Catherine Bellwood in Bronx, New York. He had three sisters Carol, Joan and Kathy Bellwood, who along with their parents, loved and respected their Warrior brother. Richard grew to adulthood in the Bronx and attended three years at Munroe High School, New York and received his General Education Diploma. Richard was active in athletics while in school, and participated in football and baseball, the two sports he loved. Richard attended the Roman Catholic Church in his community.
On 14 March 1968 Richard R. Bellwood reported for induction into the United States Army. On successful completion of his Basic Combat Training at Ft. Gordon, Ga. and his Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Jackson, SC, were he successfully completed his Light Weapons Infantryman Course. Having completed his formal training Pvt E-2 Richard Bellwood was given leave with orders to report for transit to the Republic of South Vietnam. On 11 August 1968 Richard Bellwood started his tour in the Republic of Vietnam and volunteered for and was assigned to Co E 50th Infantry (LRP) 9th Infantry Division, conducting Long Range Patrol combat operations against hostile enemy forces in the Mekong Delta. During his time with Co E 50th Infantry ( Long Range Patrol), Richard Bellwood attained the Rank of Specialist Four and was actively involved in conducting aggressive actions against numerically superior hostile enemy forces in the 9th Division area of operations in the Mekong Delta. During the course of conducting these missions, Specialist Four Richard R. Bellwood distinguished himself on numerous occasions and received the following awards: The Silver Star Medal for Gallantry In Action, the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for Heroism, the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service, the Purple Heart with 1 bronze oak leaf cluster, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with 1 bronze service star, the Republic Of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device (1960), Vietnam Military Merit Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Civil Action Honor Medal First Class Unit Citation, Republic Of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award and the Expert Badge with rifle bar and Marksman Badge with machinegun and automatic rifle bars.
The circumstances of the two actions leading to the award of the Bronze Star Medal for Heroism and the posthumous award of the Silver Star Medal for Gallantry In Action along with the Vietnam Military Merit Award and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, to Specialist Four Richard R. Bellwood, are as follows:
1. Award Of The Bronze Star Medal For Heroism-For heroism in connection with military actions involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Specialist Four Bellwood distinguished himself by valorous actions on 23 January 1969 while serving as a Scout Observer with Company E, 75th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, on a reconnaissance mission northeast of Dong Tam. After his patrol had discovered the location of a large enemy element, Specialist Bellwood courageously exposed himself to initiate an ambush and then led an attack which resulted in the capture of fifteen enemy soldiers and the rescue of three Vietnamese civilians who had been held captive by the enemy. Specialist Four Bellwood's personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 9th Infantry Division and the United States Army.
2. The Award of the Silver Star Medal, Vietnam Military Merit Medal and Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm-For gallantry in action involving close combat with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Specialist Four Bellwood distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 25 January 1969 while serving as a Scout Observer with Company E, 50th Infantry, on a long range reconnaissance patrol in Dinh Tuong Province. As his patrol neared a wood line, they came under an intense barrage of hostile fire from a numerically superior enemy force. Standing completely exposed to the murderous hail of fire, Specialist Bellwood courageously engaged the enemy with his rifle, quickly silencing two of the nearest hostile emplacements and giving his comrades time to reach cover. As he continued to lay down a heavy base of suppressive fire, he was mortally wounded by an enemy round. Specialist Four Bellwood's extraordinary heroism in close combat with an armed hostile force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 9th Infantry Division and the United States Army.
Specialist Four Richard Bellwood was killed in action as a result of wounds he received while engaging and being engaged by the enemy, who were intent on killing his fellow team members. Richard conducted himself in the true Warrior Spirit, by engaging the enemy without regard for his own safety and ultimately sacrificing his life, for that of his comrades. If Richard were able to be here with us today, I am sure that he would not regret the actions, that he took, that led to his demise. Warriors and heroes such as Richard exemplify what it is to be a Ranger, the Warrior Spirit that lives on through their deeds and the Ranger Warriors who continue to go forth in harms way, who will forever, without reservation, make the necessary sacrifices to defend our freedom. HOOAH!!!!RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!!!!