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18197 LTC Richard C. Breakiron,
March 19, 1927 - October 05, 2006


Read Or Post A Personal Eulogy


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.

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.

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 Infantryman Badge.

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 Ribbon.

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 Service Medal.

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.

Never one to be idle, Dick co-authored a book on West Point memories and traditions, which was self-published in 2002. The majority of the book was compiled while he underwent treatments for oral cancer. The stories were collected while researching the WP-ORG Bicentennial Website.

The release of this book was one of his proudest acheivements. 

Dick died of a recurrance of the cancer that he had valiantly fought and beaten before - back in 2001. He was living with his daughter at the time of his death. Dick's beloved Joyce passed away on November 17, 2000, and he will be buried next to her in the West Point cemetery. Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 13:30 at the Old Cadet Chapel. It is an open service and all are welcome to attend.

He is survived by his 3 children, Diane, Dawn, and Richard, and 5 grandchildren, Palmer, Strat, Nina, Nicolas and Savannah.

Thanks to Jose ("Andy") Chacon, USMA 1951, for some of the biographical data used here.

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