Richard Eastmond was born on March 18, 1920, in Provo, Utah. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in 1941, and enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Navy on July 11, 1941. Eastmond was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator on March 12, 1942, and then served as an instructor pilot at NAS Miami and NAS Pensacola, Florida, from April 1942 to March 1943. LT Eastmond then joined Fighting Squadron ONE (VF-1) land-based on Tarawa in May 1943, followed by service with VF-1 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10) from April to August 1944. During his time with VF-1, Eastmond was credited with the destruction of 9 enemy aircraft in aerial combat plus 1 probable, all while flying F6F-3 Hellcat fighters. He next served on the staff of the Commander Fleet Air, Seattle, Washington, from September 1944 to May 1945, and then served with VF-75 at Norfolk, Virginia, from June 1945 until he left active duty on November 1, 1945. Capt Eastmond remained in the Naval Reserve after the war, and retired on July 1, 1966. Richard Eastmond died on November 4, 1981.
His Navy Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism as a Pilot in Fighting Squadron ONE, attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN, in action against enemy Japanese aerial forces during the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, June 19, 1944. Leading his division in the interception of a superior number of enemy aircraft that were attempting to strike at our warships, Lieutenant Eastmond pressed home a determined attack against those hostile planes and personally shot down four Japanese aircraft. His gallant fighting spirit, superb airmanship and inspiring leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.