Published on Dec 24, 2016 to Youtube by Skyes9
"In an attempt at documenting the last USAF F-4 Phantoms in flying service, I flew to Holloman AFB, NM. They'll be used as ground targets from now on as the QF-16 takes over. In this video you will see the start up, taxi out, and phly by of the F-4s, followed by water cannon salute and then shut down of the USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II."

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Panel 16W - Line 38

 Burial:  South Park Cemetery

Pearland, Brazoria County
Texas, USA

Length of service 2 years.  

His tour began on Jul 27, 1969.  

Casualty was on Nov 6, 1969 in LZ, LAOS
Hostile, died of wounds; body was recovered.

1st LT Richard Lance Honey, United States Air Force, was born 30 Oct 1943 to June Marie Bullert (22 Nov 1917 - 23 Apr 1979) and Robert Leroy Honey (20 Oct 1912 - 30 Aug 1976) in Rhinelander, Oneida County, Wisconsin.

He was a graduate of Texas Tech University. 

Air Force F-4D Phantom II in flight over North Vietnam - Official USAF photo

1st LT Richard Lance Honey died while co-piloting an F-4D Phantom II.   Clarence R. "Dick" Anderegg described the circumstances of his death in his book “Sierra Hotel: Flying Air Force Fighters in the Decade after Vietnam” published for the Air Force History and Museum Program, USAF, Washington, CD, 2001 (book available on Amazon.com). 

CHAPTER 1. Fallen Comrades
"Oh, there are no fighter pilots down in Hell."  

[first line of a fighter pilot drinking song]

On November 2, 1969, an F-4D from the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) ripped along at high speed and low altitude above a dirt road through northern Laos.  The big fighter
essed back and forth across the track so the two-man crew could look for targets to strike -- North Vietnamese supplies earmarked for use against U.S. forces and their allies.  The jet's weaving flight path also made it more difficult for antiaircraft gunners to track the green, black, and tan camouflaged Phantom II.  Suddenly, a single .50 caliber bullet smashed through the canopy quarter-panel and struck the back-seater in the chest.  Only two years out of college, 1st Lt. Richard Lance Honey bled to death in the time it took his pilot to race at supersonic speed to the nearest air base.

Four decades have seen bitter debate among Americans about the morality of the war in Vietnam.  Yet, to a fighter pilot, the answer to the question of why Rick Honey was in Southeast Asia was an easy one:  his nation called.  Others have written the story of why America asked him to be there, but this is a chronicle of fighter pilots, not politicians.  The fighter pilot wonders why Honey was in such a vulnerable position where a golden BB could snuff out his life.  "What were they doing right?" he might think, and "What were they doing wrong?"

Their call sign was Laredo 03, and their mission was to find targets along the stretch of dirt highway known as Route 7.  The small, dusty road, not much more than a country lane, ran from the Laos-North Vietnam border westward to the Plain of Jars in central Laos.  Laredo 03 was a fast forward air controller (FAC) mission.  Once they found a target, typically a truck or two, or perhaps a poorly hidden supply cache, they would rendezvous with other fighters, guide them to the target, mark it with a white phosphorous smoke rocket, and then direct the other fighters' bombs onto the target.  The scheme of fast FAC's directing flights of other fighters onto small targets was the predominant interdiction tactic used in Laos along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but it was very ineffective.  Even the fast FAC familiar with his area had a difficult time finding targets, because he had to fly fast enough to survive AAA (antiaircraft artillery), and he had to fly high enough to stay out of the small arms fire,  such as that which killed Honey.  Of course, the North Vietnamese were masters of camouflage who moved under cover of darkness and hid during the day.  Even when the fast FAC's did find a target, the fighters had a difficult time hitting it because their ordnance and delivery systems were ineffective.

Many bases in Vietnam and Thailand had their own fast FAC's who flew with a call sign that designated their base of origin.  Laredo flew out of Udorn, Thailand; Wolf flew out of Ubon, Thailand; Tiger flew out of Korat, Thailand.  Each fast FAC had an assigned area of responsibility (AOR), and these AOR's were typically in high-threat areas where slower spotter planes could not survive the intense AAA gunfire encountered there.

When Honey was killed in November 1969, it was "halftime" in the air war over North Vietnam, the time between Rolling Thunder, which lasted from 1965 until 1968, and Linebacker, which started in 1972.  Attacks in North Vietnam were not allowed between the two major campaigns while negotiators attempted to end the war through diplomacy.  Therefore, there were no large strike packages being ordered against important targets like railroad yards or industrial complexes in North Vietnam.  The only targets were the difficult to find and harder to hit traffic along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  Waves of multimillion dollar jets sought, on a daily and nightly basis, to destroy trucks worth only a few thousand dollars each.  The frustration level was very high among the fighter crews.  So, again the question, "Why were Honey and his front-seater rooting around in the weeds looking for single trucks to attack with airplanes that could not hit them anyhow?"  If they were so ineffective, what were they doing there?  The answer was simple: with the equipment and training they had, it was the only way to try to get the job done.

This poem was written by Richard's father, Robert Honey, in November 1969 .

          We will never forget you.


Roy  Spencer
Vietnam Veteran-Air Force Pilot
F-4D Heroes
On November 6,1969, an F-4D from the 555 Tactical Fighter Squadron flew at a high speed and low altitude above a dirt road through northern Laos. The aircraft was under continuous hostile fire. Suddenly, a single .50 caliber bullet smashed through the canopy quarter-panel and struck the back seater in the chest. Only two years out of college, 1 Lt. Richard Lance Honey was fatally injured despite a heroic effort to get him medical help.
Nov 6, 2012

Bob  Hensel
Happy Birthday
Rich, Today is your birthday and I'm sure you are off partying with the rest of the FALLEN hero's. Happy Birthday!!
Oct 30, 2009

Bob  Hensel
retired Air Force crew chief
812 Harding Highway Buena NJ 08310-1534 
I promise 100%
Rich, I've adopted your FALLEN profile on airforce.togetherweserved.com and promise to complete your profile with the pride and passion that you would have if doing it yourself.
Oct 4, 2009

Jan  Withers
12220 Westview Dr Upper Marlboro MD 20772 USA
You Will Always Be Remembered and Loved, Rick.
I remember saying goodbye to you guys in California as you headed for Udorn. That was the last time any of us 'wives' would see you, Rick. We all flew to Houston to be with Donna for your funeral. Months later when the tour was completed for the rest of your buddies, Donna came to San Francisco to greet everyone. It was therapeutic for all. How we missed you. I will never forget you, dear friend. Little did I know that years later a different F-4 would take Doug's life in Germany. I am sure you two are still doing what you love best - 'dancing the skies on laughter-silvered wings.'
Sep 17, 2009

Davy  Baker
Another Brother
Kilgore, Tx. 
Honoring, another hero, on his special day. Thank you, for your dedication and service, to our nation. Rest in peace, LT., YOU, ARE NOT FORGOTTEN!!!
Oct 30, 2008

Malcolm  Kirby
USAF Veteran - 191st photo recon.
Vietnam Veterans of America - Chapter 785 
Rest in Peace, my Brother. You will not be forgotten...
Oct 30, 2008

Bill Gallenstein
USAF Veteran
Zephyrhills FL 33541 USA
A very proud cold war USAF veteran remembers you on this day. My God bless you and your family always. I salute you, Thank you 
Apr 22, 2007

Manuel Pino Jr.
Fellow Vietnam Vet
REFLECTIONS FROM THE MOVING WALL". I am a monument to a black period in this countries history.I am the vietnam wall.,composed to two angled granite walls,inscribed with the names of fifty eight thousand,one hundred thirty four american men and women who died in hell (that was vietnam) Many people come to see me. strangely they come mostly in silence-old people,young people,children,mothers,fathers,widows,and veterans.all for reasons of their own.they bring gifts,pictures,letters,flowers,poems and cigarettes.the letters speak of grief and loneliness and regret.they ask forgiveness.they are an out pouring of pain.the people softly touch names on my face.they water my grass with tears.then they leave in silence and I hope in peace.for I am more than two stone walls.I am a thank you from a nation that forgot.I am a long past due apology.I am healing for wounds too long left untended.I am a tribute paid to fallen warriors.I AM THE VIETNAM WALL. "america has forgotten the wars.will she remember her warriors"? You may be gone , BUT YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004

1st Lt. Richard Lance Honey

United States Air Force


Earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism in aviation at the cost of his life. The cross symbolizes sacrifice, and the propeller symbolizes flight.