In Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class
Richard Alan Whyte
Rapid City, South Dakota, Pennington County
March 23, 1950 – May 12, 1969
Killed in Action in South Vietnam
Richard Alan “Rick” Whyte was born on March 23, 1950, in
Glasgow, Montana to his parents, Robert and Georgia (Peterson)
Whyte. His family then moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, where
he attended schools in Rapid City and Pierre, South Dakota. His
father, a WW II veteran, was a land surveyor and during the
summer, Richard sometimes worked with his dad. Vern Bump, who
once worked on the same survey crew as Richard, wrote that
Richard was “a very nice and polite young man.”
Richard A. Whyte entered the service on May 2, 1967, in Sioux
Falls, South Dakota. Before going to Vietnam, Richard first was
assigned duty in Germany. After volunteering to go to Vietnam,
on November 8, 1968, Richard A. Whyte commenced his tour as a
Specialist Fourth Class, Company C in the Americal Division.
On May 12, 1968, SP4 Richard Allen Whyte was killed in action
in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam. The body of Richard A.
Whyte was returned to Rapid City. He was buried with military
honors at Mountain View Cemetery.
According to his uncle, Stan Whyte, SP4 Whyte received the
Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Legion of Merit, the Military
Merit, the Army Commendation, the National Defense Service
Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Gallantry Cross with Palm,
and the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon.
At the time of SP4 Richard Whyte’s death, he was survived by
his father, R.M. Whyte, his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. L.C.
Whyte, his grandmother, Gertrude Peterson, and several aunts and
uncles, including Stan Whyte, John Whyte, and Jerry Whyte; and
an aunt, Donna Lowell.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Tia Marie Ragels,
8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota. A
Vietnam Veterans Bonus Application and the Rapid City Journal,
May 29, 1969, issue, provided information for this entry.
Additional information provided by Vern Bump, Pierre. Profile
approval by Stan Whyte.