Richard Melville Foster – Major, United States Marine Corps

Major Richard M. Foster, a career U.S. Marine officer from Bar Harbor, Maine, was killed on January 10, 1968 in the crash of a Marine Corps aircraft on Mount Tobin near the town of Battle Mountain in northern Nevada.  At the time of his death, Major Foster was assigned as an Instructor with the Amphibious Warfare Presentation Team whose home station was at the Marine Corps Educational Center, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia.

Major Foster was born on June 16, 1927 in Framingham Massachusetts.  He was the husband of the late Statie (McFarland) Foster and the son of the late Fuller Foster and the late Mildred (Harriman) Foster Allan.  He attended Bar Harbor High School and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in February 1943. During World War II, he served with the Fleet Marine Force as a member of the First Marine Division participating in amphibious assault landings against imperial Japanese forces in three major combat campaigns on the Pacific islands of New Britain (Cape Glouster), Peleliu and Okinawa. He was twice wounded in battle.

Following World War II, Major Foster returned to complete his secondary education and subsequently attended the University of Maine.  He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.  During the school year 1950-51, he organized and led the University's ROTC drill team.  He was commissioned a U. S. Marine Second Lieutenant upon graduation from the University in 1953. He graduated from the Marine Basic School at Quantico, Virginia. in 1954 and was again assigned to the First Marine Division, this time in Korea.  He served with the Division as a platoon commander in the 7th Marines and the Provisional Demilitarized Zone Company until January 1955.

Upon his return from Korea, Major Foster was assigned to the Marine Barracks, 8th & I Streets, Washington D.C., as a Ceremonial Platoon commander. During this time, he traveled to Newport, Rhode Island, and served as commander of the ceremonial troops on President Eisenhower's visit there. In February 1958, Major Foster joined his old unit, the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California. He served with the Division as a Rifle Company commander until 1960 and terminated his tour as Regimental Adjutant.  From 1960-63, he served as the Officer-in–Charge of Officer Selection in Los Angeles, California.

In September 1963, Major Foster returned to an overseas assignment as Company Commander, Headquarters & Service Company, 3rd Marines, Third Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force in the Pacific. During this assignment, he participated in operations against the Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam while assigned with the Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps. Prior to assignment to the Marine Corps Educational Center at Quantico, Major Foster served two years as a staff officer at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington D.C.

Major Foster was the recipient of the following decorations and awards: 2 Purple hearts, 2 Presidential Unit Citations, Good Conduct Medal, American Theatre Medal, Asiatic -Pacific Theatre Medal, World War II Victory Medal, United Nations Service Medal,  Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Currently surviving Major Foster are one son, Kevin Foster, a sister Claire Lambert and a brother Donald Foster along with an aunt, several cousins, nieces and nephews. Major Foster's wife, the former Statie McFarland, died in 1999

Submitted by:
Harrison Wendell Hodgkins, COL, AUS (Retired)


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 06/16/1927
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/10/1968
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 13  SITE 14678-1


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