Richard Clay Breakiron
West Point, 1951
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Jose A. "Andy" Chacon on October 15, 2006:
Richard Clay Breakiron
Born March 19, 1927 - Died October 5, 2006
Richard Clay "Beadeye" Breakiron was born in Ohio March 19, 1927. Beadeye was appointed to West Point from the US Army, and is un-mistakably a product of Stewart Field. At the Point he was known as "Beadeye" to his classmates. He went out for Soccer for two years and was on the Ring Committee for four. First class year he was a Cadet Captain and Battalion Commander. On graduation he went in the Infantry, but not before he married Joyce, his long-time girlfriend. They have two daughters, the first born while Dick was on his first patrol in Korea in 1952, and a son born in 1956. The son an ROTC grad served at West Point in the Department of Social Sciences and served as aide for our 35th Class reunion doing an outstanding job by all reports. Beadeye reported to Fort Benning for the Basic Officers Infantry Course and stayed on as a Tactical officer in the expanded Officer Candidate School program. Following the Officer Candidate School's class graduation in May 1952, he went to Korea by way of Camp Gifu, Japan for the Combat Branch short course. In Korea Beadeye was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division as a Rifle Platoon Leader, leading patrols and occupying an outpost in front of the MLR. For this assignment Dick was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Then followed an assignment to Division Headquarters in the G-2 Section where he served under Major John D. Eisenhower and was awarded a second Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service. When the Korean "Conflict" ended Dick was selected to debrief returned prisoners on the ship coming home, a very interesting assignment, indeed. On his return to stateside in 1953, Dick reported to the 8th Infantry Training Division at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina as a Training Company Commander. Regimental and Division Staff assignments followed and finally Dick was named as Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General. From Ft. Jackson Dick went to the Advanced Infantry Course at Ft. Benning in 1956 and on completion to the 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley where he was assigned as a Rifle Co Commander in the 1st Battle Group, 26th Infantry.
Dick became the Battle Group Adjutant and then 'gyroscoped' to the 8th Infantry Division in Baumholder, Germany in 1958. Within a year he was moved to Division Staff in the G-2 Section as well as the G-3 Plans Section where Dick was awarded a Commendation Ribbon. Eventually Dick became Assistant to the Division Chief of Staff and then followed his transfer to 7th Army Headquarters in Stutttgart, Germany as Assistant Secretary of the General Staff in Charge of Protocol. On completion of this tour he was awarded a second Commendation Ribbon. Returning to the states in 1962 Beadeye attended the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Then Dick was assigned to West Point in 1963 where he served as Company Tactical Officer, as Assistant Brigade S-1, and later as Brigade S-1. On completion of this assignment he transferred to the Adjutant General's Corps and pursued an MBA degree at American University. On completion, in 1968, he got orders to Vietnam arriving there the day after the TET offensive and supervised the building of a Data Processing Center at Long Binh for which he was awarded a third Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service. In 1969 Dick returned to stateside and was assigned to the Management Information Systems Directorate in the Assistant Secretary of the Army's Office. Dick retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in April, 1970 and was decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal.
After working as an MIS Consultant with Gorman Smith's Company, he ended up in the Federal Government, this time with the Judicial Branch in the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. This office is responsible for administration of all Federal Courts, both District and Appellate. Dick played a major role in introducing automation into the Federal courts in our country.
On retirement in 1979 Dick became an Adjunct Professor in off-duty programs for three Universities at the now closed Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, and continued to teach two courses for Webster University off-base until 1996.
Dick and his wife Joyce made their home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina until her death in 2000.
Dick died on October 5, 2006; he had just moved in with his daughter.
Charles funeral report follows:
"October 12, 2006 17:53
Subject: Dick Breakiron's Burial
Dear Chan and Frank,
What follows is an account of Dick Breakiron's burial today. Please
circulate to the Class as you wish.
West Point, NY, 12 October 2006 - Embraced by a majestic West Point
autumn day and with military honors, Dick "Beadeye" Breakiron was laid to rest next to his Joyce, near Custer and close to Harlan and Darleen Johnson, Marv Krupinsky, Roland Tausch and Willie Winner. Half a dozen beautiful floral arrangements, including one from the Class of '51 added more color to the fall foliage display.
Preceding the burial ceremony was a memorial service in the Old Cadet Chapel. The Celebrant was Rev. Judy Ferguson, an Episcopal civilian chaplain. Reflections and Homily were presented by Dick's son, Richard C. Breakiron, Jr. who stressed that, above all, his father was first and foremost for his family. Dawn Breakiron, Beadeye's daughter and Palmer, his grandson, were in attendance as were a number of Classmates to include Pete and Marie Foss, George and Martha Reid,
Honorary Classmate Dian Welle and husband Dan and Chuck Satuloff. Among other attendees were Dutch Hostler of the AOG with his wife and Cadet Captain/Star man son, Jack Price of WP-ORG, and Col. Nelson, the Supe's representative. John James, '67, an instructor in EE and Computer Science, was in attendance to honor Dick for all the work he has done for the Academy.
It was a particularly moving to watch Col. Nelson presenting grandson Palmer with the flag that draped Dick's casket. Rest in peace, dear Classmate.
CHANNEL GROUP, inc
P.O. Box 365
Harrison, NY 10528
And Pete and Marie report:
"Good morning, All;
Chuck truly captured the day perfectly! Earlier in the morning, as we were driving over from Rockport MA, the rain and wind were unrelenting but as we approached West point, the day cleared. The sun came out, the sky was bright blue, West Point never looked better on this gorgeous Fall day.
We had time to walk around the cemetery before the services started. Dan Londrot, USMA Affairs Officer, printed out the Class 1951 list for us - and we visited all. Because Dick and Joyce's plot is so close to Rolly Tausch, Marv Krupinsky, Willy Winner, Harlan & Darlene Johnson and Art Scalise, we were able to spend a few extra minutes with these friends....to whom we had also said goodby all too recently.
It is sad to say the final "goodby" but Dick is now at peace and without pain - we have to be happy for him. Chuck and I agreed though, we hope it is a long time before we have to meet again at a time like this.