Commander Samuel B. Richardson, a native of San Diego,
California, was commissioned in 1982 after receiving a degree in Electrical Engineering
from the University of California at Los Angeles.
He reported to NAS Pensacola, Florida in April 1983 and was designated a Naval Aviator in
June 1985. Following his winging, he remained at NAS Pensacola serving as a SerGrad
instructor before reporting to the VF-124 Gunslingers at NAS Miramar, California for
training in the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. Upon the completion of his
replacement training, he reported to the VF-114 Aardvarks in December 1987. During this
tour he completed two West-Pac deployments, participated in Operation "Praying
Mantis", and graduated from the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TopGun).
In April 1990 he was selected for duty as a TopGun instructor and served on the staff of
the Navy Fighter Weapons School until May 1993. CDR Richardson then reported to the VF-213
Black Lions where he served as the Maintenance Officer and Operations Officer. During this
tour he was selected as Fighter Wing Pacific's Fighter Pilot of the Year and Naval Air
Pacific's Tactical Aviator of the Year. In April 1995 he reported to Commander, Fighter
Wing Pacific as the Director of Tomcat Strike Fighter Weapons School and served as the
school's final Director prior to its consolidation with Strike/Fighter Weapons and Tactics
School Atlantic. During this time he oversaw the introduction of the Strike Fighter
Weapons and Tactics program for the Tomcat community.
In April 1996 he reported to the Operations Directorate of the Joint Staff in Washington,
D.C., for duty as an Action Officer working Current Plans for the U.S. Central Command. He
served in that capacity until June 1998 when he reported to the VF-101 Grim Reapers for
refresher training in the F-14A Tomcat at NAS
Oceana, Virginia. On November 6th, 1998 he joined the VF-14
Tophatters as Executive Officer.
While serving as Executive Officer of the Tophatters during their deployment
aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt
(CVN-71) in 1999, he led numerous combat missions during the course of Operation Operation "Allied Force" over Kosovo and Operation Operation "Southern Watch" over Iraq.
CDR Richardson has accumulated over 600 carrier arrested landings and more than 3800 hours
in various Naval tactical aircraft, including the A-4F Skyhawk, F-16N Viper, and over 2000
hours in the F-14 Tomcat. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service
Medal, Meritorious Service Medal,Air Medal (two awards with combat distinction), Strike/
Flight Air Medal (five awards), Joint Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation
Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal, and numerous other campaign and service
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