Richard Clark Babb Jr “The Galant” – Vietnam War Casualty

The story can finally be told of the life and death of Richard Clark Babb Jr, who is one of two Babbs who were casualties of the Vietnam War. their names are encapsulated on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.

I first came across this story in 2014 at the dawn of this blog when one of our members had visited the Wall and sent me a photo of Richard’s name.

I was unable to determine Richard’s roots given the information that was available at the time.

5 years later, in 2019, I visited the Wall myself for the first time. My husband, who is a photographer hobbyist was drawn to photograph a single rose that stood in a vase at the foot of one of the panels. I quickly noticed that there was a Babb’s name just above it and it made me wonder who else from our lines might be there.

A quick Internet search revealed a secondary name, and we also photographed that location for this secondary post on the matter. The post was made in haste, and I left out much of the story I am telling you today.

Now let’s flash forward to today. I was searching through Fold3 looking to see if they had any pre-revolutionary records of Babbs in the US. For some unknown reason I was presented with a picture of Richard Clark Babb Jr, which commanded my attention! The haunting intensity of this image sent a shock wave through me that was engrossing. I immediately had to know more!

In this day and age, I have much better search capabilities to remind me of stories that I may have covered in the past. I recalled that I had posted something about the Vietnam War Memorial and did a quick search, only to find that I’d covered it twice before.

In the 8 years since I first wondered about his origins, I now have the tools available to tell his story in full for the first time.

A young Richard Clark Babb Jr.

Richard was born 24 Jan 1951 in Illinois to Richard Clark Babb Sr & Elaine Ptack. He was the only boy of 5 children.

He enlisted on 18 Apr 1969 in the US Army as a Light Weapons Infantry specialist. He held the rank of Sergeant and served in the 75th Infantry as a Ranger.

In the end he was cut down on New Year’s Day 1970 by friendly fire. They had mistaken him for the enemy in the fog of war. He was taken to Japan where he died of multiple shrapnel wounds. He never married. He had no male siblings to carry forward the Babb name, yet he is forever memorialized as one of the Band of Brothers listed on “The Wall”.

His Wall Coordinates are “15W 113”.


Bronze Star – 1970
Bronze Star – 1970
Purple Heart – 1970
National Defense Service Medal (2001-Present)) – 1970
Vietnam Service Medal – 1969
Vietnam Service Medal – 1970
Vietnam Service Medal – 1970
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal – 1970


1969-1970, 11B20, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
1969-1970, 11B20, F Company, 75th Infantry (Ranger)


Babb – One Overseas Service Bar
Babb – Ranger
Babb – Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Babb – Infantry Shoulder Cord


1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign

Current Situation

Casualty Ocurrence: He was mistaken for the enemy. Wounded and later died at the 106th General Hospital in Japan.

Posts on his Fold3 Memorial Page

POSTED ON 1.1.2021. POSTED BY: A GRATEFUL VIETNAM VET. BRONZE STAR MEDAL AWARD FOR VALOR. Sergeant Richard Clark Babb was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, with Combat Distinguishing Device (V), for his exemplary gallantry in action. He was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Merit for his sustained meritorious service. He served as an Infantryman and was assigned to F CO, 75TH INFANTRY, 25TH INF DIV. See

POSTED ON 1.25.2015. POSTED BY: DENISE HANKS-FIALA. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICKY. Mom said Happy Birthday to you yesterday morning. Still tears when your name is said out loud. Lots of Love Ricky, you were my hero and the coolest Uncle ever.

POSTED ON 5.30.2011. POSTED BY: W. TOM GILCHRIST. MEMORIAL DAY 2011. Babbs was 3 years older than I which is a lot when you are 14. I remember him as a gangly kid just before he went to boot camp. He was a young man, ramrod straight just before shipping off to Viet Nam. He was proud to serve, and I remember him saying ‘ I will be a SGT. when I get back’. He was ready for the unknown. Courage.

Source: Babb, Richard Clark, Jr. (Babbs), SGT: PERSON, pictures and information –

Richard’s Ancestry

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