Richard Dutton was born on April 24, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. He was commissioned a 2d Lt through the Air Force ROTC program at the Georgia Institute of Technology on June 9, 1951, and went on active duty beginning June 27, 1951. Lt Dutton next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Williams AFB, Arizona, in September 1952. After additional training, he went to South Korea as an F-86 Sabre pilot where he flew 59 combat missions with the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the 4th Fighter Intercepter Wing from January to December 1953. Dutton served as a gunnery instructor for the next 3 years, and then transitioned to the F-100 Super Sabre in September 1957. He completed Air-Ground Operations School in December 1957, and Weapons Controller School in July 1959, and then served as a Weapons Controller at a radar site near Bennington, Nebraska, from 1959 to 1960. He transitioned into the F-105 Thunderchief in June 1961 while he was at Bitburg AB, West Germany, from 1960 to 1963. Maj Dutton served as an F-105 Academic Instructor with the 4524th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, from April 1964 to April 1966, and then flew 25 combat missions in Southeast Asia with the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, between March and June 1966. He then returned to Nellis as an instructor with the 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing, where he served from August 1966 to June 1967, when he attended Wild Weasel Training for his second tour of duty in Southeast Asia. Maj Dutton flew with the 333rd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Takhli Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from October 1967 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on November 5, 1967. After spending 1,956 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at March AFB, California, and then attended National War College from August 1973 to July 1974. His final assignment was as Deputy Commander for Maintenance and then as Commandant of the U.S. Special Operations School at Hurlburt Field, Florida, where he retired from the Air Force on September 30, 1981. Richard Dutton died on December 12, 1999.
His 1st (of 2) Silver Star Citation reads:
Major Richard A. Dutton distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-105 pilot over North Vietnam on 5 November 1967. On that date, Major Dutton displayed outstanding aerial competence and courageous professionalism in the aggressive pursuance and acquisition of the assigned targets. The tenacity of this officer to attain the objective against formidable defenses is in accord with the highest military standards. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Dutton has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.