Vietnam War

Oral History Interview: Randall Richardson

Randall Richardson

Randall Richardson Tim Meyers/Illinois Public Media

Richardson describes this photo from April 1971 at Firebase Birmingham, west of Hue: “I am standing on the re-arming helicopter pad. We had just been re-supplied (food, ammo, water, clean clothes). Awaiting pickup by a sortie of Huey helicopters for insertion by combat assault into our next area of operations.”

Courtesy Randall Richardson

Randall Richardson was born in Champaign, Illinois in 1946.  

After graduating from Eastern Illinois University in 1968, he received his military induction papers. He attended Officers Candidate School and served in Vietnam from 1969 – 1971 as an Army infantry platoon leader.

He recalls firing on a small group of Montagnards, tensions between officers and enlisted men, racism in the Army and receiving a life-threatening note in his dopp kit.

Richardson believes America wasn’t allowed to win the war; however, he says he is proud he has served. The training he received positively impacted who he is today as a father and a worker.

Central Illinois Vietnam Stories - Randall Richardson