Dick Quiel was born on November 24, 1922, in Grand Marais, Minnesota. He was accepted into the U.S. Navy V-5 Program on October 16, 1942, and attended flight training from May 1943 until he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and designated a Naval Aviator on May 1, 1944. Ens Quiel next completed operational flight training and carrier qualification training before joining VF-10 at NAS Norfolk, Virginia, in September 1944. He deployed with VF-10 as an F4U Corsair pilot aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CV-11) in the Pacific from January to December 1945. During this time, Ens Quiel was credited with the destruction of 6 enemy aircraft in aerial combat. His next assignment was with VF-74 from January 1946 to May 1947, followed by an assignment to the University of California at Los Angeles to complete his bachelor's degree from June 1947 to September 1948. LTJG Quiel next served on the staff of the Commander Fleet Air Pacific from September 1948 to March 1949, and then as an F4U pilot with VF-113 from March 1949 to June 1951, during which time he flew combat missions from the aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) in Korea from June 1950 to April 1951. LT Quiel next attended U.S. Naval Postgraduate School from July 1951 to July 1954, followed by service as an aerospace engineer with VX-4 at NAS Point Mugu, California, from July 1954 to December 1955. During this time he participated in air to air missile development and evaluations. CDR Quiel served as a photo-reconnaissance pilot with VFP-61 at NAS Miramar, California, from December 1955 to July 1957, and then served as the Head of the Planning Department and the Engineering and Maintenance Department, and as a Test Pilot at NAS Norfolk from July 1957 to March 1963. His final assignment was as a Liaison Officer with the U.S. Air Force Directorate of Aerospace Safety at Norton AFB, California, from March 1963 until his retirement from the Navy on August 1, 1966. Dick Quiel died on July 5, 2013, and was buried at Montecito Memorial Park in Colton, California.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as PIlot of a Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron TEN, attached to the U.S.S. INTREPID, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of Okinawa, on April 16, 1945. Boldly intercepting an outnumbering force of enemy fighter planes which were attacking units of our Task Force, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, (then Ensign) Quiel fought his plane with great skill and determination, personally blasting four of the hostile aircraft from the sky and assisting materially in breaking up this concentrated enemy attack. Gallantly braving a powerful barrage of antiaircraft fire, sent up from ships in the formation, he unhesitatingly followed one of the hostile planes in its suicide dive, shooting it down before it could crash one of our vessels. By his outstanding courage, expert airmanship and aggressive initiative throughout this fierce action, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Quiel upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.