Richard T. WendlandtFebruary 8, 1944 ~ December 6, 2017 (age 73)
Richard Thomas Wendlandt, Lt. Col. USAF (retired) was born to Vernon and Sally Wendlandt in Brooklyn, New York, in 1944 and spent his childhood in Port Washington, New York. A lifelong adventurer and traveler, Richard’s first great love was sailing. He competed in many sailboat races around Long Island, including the Bermuda Race. Richard finished as the Long Island Sound Champion in the Meteor Class.
Wendlandt attended Lehigh University where he was commissioned through the ROTC program. He became a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, attending Pilot Training at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, GA. He knew from an early childhood age that he wanted to fly fighters and his life became a successful unfolding of his childhood dream.
After flight school Richard was deployed to De Nang, Phu Cat and Korat, and flew over 400 combat missions in Vietnam. During this time he was an exemplary Command Fighter Pilot (F4 Phantom) and earned numerous medals. Later in his career he helped launch the first General Officer Warfighting Course and trained both the Egyptian and Yemenee Air Forces. Richard went on to attend the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS. He also excelled in working for the conjoined effort of the Air Force and Army in War Gaming for future conflicts.
His military honors include:
Distinguished Flying Cross w/2 Devices
Army Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal w/2 Devices
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor w/5 Devices
Air Medal w/23 Devices
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal w/1 Device
The Legion of Merit
In 1994 Richard met his mate and wife of 24 years. He was faithfully devoted to the love of his life, Christina Slattery Wendlandt, and to his children, John, Kate and her husband Aaron. Richard was the quintessential Grandfather to his six “tremendous” grandchildren. He was known for his steadfast love and utter loyalty to his country, his family, his plethora of friends, and his Catholic faith. Known for his conservative values, Richard sought to implement in his own life and that of his community an emphasis on the permanent things: honor to God, dedication to family, generosity to the church and various charities. He was received into the Roman Catholic Church seven years ago.
A funeral Mass will be said for Lt. Colonel Richard Thomas Wendlandt on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Fort Walton Beach, FL. with Rosary at 10:30 a.m. A private burial will take place at Barrancas National Cemetery.
There is no fund or foundation set up in Richard’s honor. He instead wishes for all those who knew him to place renewed emphasis on the permanent things in life, for which he was so well known.