Captain Richard G. Tangeman, USN (Ret)

Captain Richard G. Tangeman, USN (Ret)

nampowlogoAfter graduating from New York University in February 1964, Tangeman joined the United States Navy. My initial active duty assignment was as a naval aviation officer candidate stationed at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. Tangeman was commissioned as an ensign in the Naval Reserve on August 17,1964.

RichardGTangemanUpon graduation from NAO school Tangeman was assigned to Naval Air Station, Sanford, Florida in the RA5C program. During his tour as a student Tangeman was teamed with my initial pilot, Lt. Giles R. Norrington. He continued to fly as a crew until three years later when he was shot down over HaTinh Province while flying a reconnaissance mission over Highway 15.

During his approximate five years of imprisonment Tangeman lived with LCDR Norrington for a total period of 23 months. Tangeman had the privilege of disembarking from the air evacuation plane at Clark AFB with him.

His thoughts at this time were ones of overwhelming gratitude and respect for the unselfish acts performed on behalf of the POWs and the Ml-As by the President of the United States and the American public. Although it was a time of great personal happiness, it was also a time to remember and pray for the many men missing in action and hope for their return.

Tangeman’s Ribbons

Tangeman was deeply moved by the warmth and sincerity of all the wonderful people who welcomed us home and witnessed our “rebirth”. Seeing grown men’s eyes colored with tears and hearing women speak to me as if he were their returning son reinforced my belief in the ultimate kindness of the American people and that America is truly the greatest country of all. “The honor was mine to be permitted to serve my country“, Tangeman said.

As before and during his imprisonment, his thoughts revolved around his beautiful wife, wonderful son and loving mother. His wife Linda and Tangeman were married January 16, 1966 in Sanford, Florida. During my first cruise God blessed us with our son Derek, born November 7, 1966. We were reunited March 17, 1973 in Jacksonville, Florida.

During his imprisonment Tangeman’s faith in God, country and man was confirmed and strengthened by the wonderful way in which his fellow prisoners conducted themselves in the face of extreme physical and mental deprivation and pressure. The foundation of genuine and altruistic support given us as POWs by the American people sustained and encouraged us throughout the long years.

Tangeman’s present goals are centered around the hope and desire to serve his country as a member of the United States Navy.

In conclusion, Tangeman said, “I thanked the President of the United States and the American people for their concern, kindness and understanding shown to my family during my long absence“. However, Tangeman had one more request of, “Don’t let the MlAs or their families be forgotten”. “Now that we are home, please transfer the support you have shown us, the returned POWs, to the effort of aiding the MIA families in their search for knowledge concerning their heroic loved ones. These families still face the pain and problems connected with the absence of their husbands, fathers and sons. God bless your efforts in the past – and those in the future.

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK April 1997 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.

Lieutenant – United States Navy
Shot Down: May 5, 1968
Released: March 14, 1973

(Source:P.O.W. NETWORK)