Dick "Beadeye" Breakiron
was born on March 19, 1927 in Cleveland, OH. His Family moved
to Pittsburgh, PA in 1928 where he lived until graduating from
high school and enlisting in the Army Air Corps in June 1944.
Howitzer write-up 1951:
Wrap a perennial favorite
with the ladies, a likely candidate to replace mighty Jack Armstrong,
and a gentleman to be seriously reckoned with in either the section
room or the bull-sessions in the sinks into a single, six feet-four
package of he-man, and you have got our Beadeye. Unmistakably
a product of Stewart Field, we expected big things of him, and
he didn't let us down.
He was appointed to West Point from the
US Army and was a member of the first class at the USMA Prep
School at Stewart Air Field in Newburgh, NY. At West Point, he
was known as "Beadeye" to his classmates, a nickname
that he picked up at the Prep School and has stayed with him
these many years.
He chose Infantry for his branch and on
graduation day married Joyce, his long-time girlfriend. They
have two daughters, Diane and Dawn, the first born while Dick
was on his first patrol in Korea
in 1952, the second in 1954, and a son, Richard, born in 1956.
In Korea Beadeye was assigned to Company
B, 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division
as a Rifle Platoon Leader. For this assignment Dick was awarded
the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service and the Combat
Dick became the Battle Group Adjutant and
was then sent to the 8th Infantry Division in Baumholder, Germany
in 1958. 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
Dick was later the Assistant to the Division
Chief of Staff and then went to the 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.
In 1962 he attended the Command and General
Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Dick was assigned to West Point in 1963
where he served as Company Tactical Officer (where the cadets
gave him a new nickname, "The Shadow") He was the 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 received orders to Vietnam. He arrived 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 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
Following his retirement from the Army,
he worked for the Federal Court System for eight years, and was
an Adjunct Professor with a number of institutions in the Myrtle
Beach, SC, area.
Dick Joined the WP-ORG Board Of Advisors
in 1998. Dick served as the moderator for his class email list,
worked on the WP-ORG West Point Bicentennial website, and was
part of a group of graduates that designed and completed the
largest survey ever accomplished of our graduates by utilizing
the services of WP-ORG's internet web sites. Dick assumed the
responsibilities of CEO in January of 2001. He lead the organization
until his death.