Richard Wolfe was born on November 8, 1942, in Kansas City, Missouri. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on January 6, 1964, and completed basic training at NTC San Diego, California, in March 1964. Wolfe then attended Hospital Corpsman A School at San Diego from April to August 1964, followed by service as a Hospital Corpsman at Naval Station Kodiak, Alaska, from September 1964 to September 1965. He attended the Field Medical Service School at Camp Pendleton, California, from October to December 1965, and then served as a Hospital Corpsman with the U.S. Marine Corps' 1st Anti-Tank Battalion in the U.S. and deployed to South Vietnam from December 1965 to February 1967. Petty Officer Wolfe next served as a Hospital Corpsman aboard the destroyer USS John W. Thomason (DD-760) from April to June 1967, and aboard the guided missile heavy cruiser USS Canberra (CAG-2) from June to September 1967. His next assignment was as a Hospital Corpsman aboard the guided missile light cruiser USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) from September to November 1967, followed by attending the U.S. Navy Underwater Swimmers School at Naval Base Key West, Florida, from December 1967 to August 1968. Petty Officer Wolfe attended Jump School at NATTC Lakehurst, New Jersey, in August and September 1968, and then served with Underwater Demolition Team 22 (UDT-22) at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, from September 1968 to February 1969. His final assignment was as a Hospital Corpsman with SEAL Team ONE at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California, from March to September 1969, and deployed to South Vietnam from September 1969 until he was killed in action on November 30, 1969. Richard Wolfe was buried at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
His Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroism while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against Viet Cong insurgents and North Vietnamese Communists in the Republic of Vietnam from 5 September to 30 November 1969. Petty Officer WOLFE was assigned as Platoon Corpsman, BRAVO Squad Leading Petty Officer and Platoon Intelligence Petty Officer for SEAL Team ONE, Detachment GOLF, MIKE Platoon. He took part in 28 small unit combat SEAL missions coming under direct hostile fire on many occasions. on 15 November 1969, he was a member of a SEAL squad which had set up a listening post to interdict Viet Cong supplies. During the brief fire fight, he plunged into a swift current, dragged a sampan to shore and immediately began administering first aid to two wounded Viet Cong. On 29 November 1969, he was the corpsman for a SEAL squad operating in a Viet Cong controlled area to capture the District Finance and Economy Chief and his deputy. Petty Officer WOLFE again displayed complete disregard for his own personal safety by exposing himself to enemy fire while giving first aid to a wounded Viet Cong. On 30 November 1969, he took part in a dangerous SEAL mission to interdict and capture one Province Finance and Economy chief, three District Finance and Economy chiefs and three Viet Cong guerrillas who were performing security duty. As the helicopter attempted to land it began receiving small arms fire. Petty Officer WOLFE left the craft. The helicopter went out of control, crashed and killed Petty Officer WOLFE. His fearless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal risk, extreme courage under fire and great compassion for the wounded were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat "V" is authorized.