Dick Ziegler was born in 1941 in Springfield, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on June 26, 1959, and was trained as a Pharmacy Specialist. After completing his technical training, AMN Ziegler served at the main hospital at Eglin AFB, Florida, until leaving active duty on June 25, 1963. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Pharmacy Specialist on September 16, 1963, serving first with the Army Support Command in St. Louis, Missouri, then with the dispensary in Giessen, West Germany, and finally with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. Ziegler was then accepted for the Warrant Officer Candidate program for flight training in October 1966, and completed helicopter flight training and was appointed a Warrant Officer on August 1, 1967. He then deployed to Southeast Asia as a UH-1 pilot with the 281st Assault Aviation Company at Da Nang, South Vietnam, from September to November 1967, and then with the 58th Aviation Detachment at Oui Nhon, South Vietnam, from November 1967 until his helicopter was shot down over South Vietnam and he was taken as a Prisoner of War on February 8, 1968. The other personnel captured from this helicopter were WO Joseph Rose, Col Benjamin Purcell, Sgt Robert Chenoweth, SP4 Michael Lenker, and SP4 James George. After spending 1,853 days in captivity in camps in South Vietnam and then later in North Vietnam, CW2 Ziegler was released during Operation Homecoming on March 5, 1973. After a brief hospitalization to recover from his injuries, he attended UH-1 refresher training and then served at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, from October 1973 to January 1976. After completing AH-1 Cobra and Tow Cobra Gun training, he served with the 334th Attack Helicopter Company (later redesignated the 503rd Battalion of the 3rd Armored Division) in Hanau, West Germany, from March 1976 to December 1978. His next assignment was with the 10th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson, Colorado, from January to December 1979, followed by service as Safety Officer with the 4th Aviation Battalion at Fort Carson from December 1979 until his retirement from the Army on October 1, 1987. After retiring from the Army, Dick worked in real estate and then for Carnival Cruise Lines. He married the former Nancy A. James were married in July 1973.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
Chief Warrant Officer Roy E. Ziegler, II, distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action as a Prisoner of War in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia during March 1968. With profound courage and a strong conviction in the Code of Conduct he escaped from an enemy prisoner of war camp, knowing that the odds for success were slight and that if recaptured he would receive torture and long periods in solitary confinement. The success of his escape was short lived, and he was recaptured and punished. This solder's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflected great credit on himself and the United States Army.