Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... Commander Richard Sadlier, USN - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... Commander Richard Sadlier, USN

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Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 11:01 am | Updated: 11:10 am, Fri Jun 21, 2019.

Commander Richard Sadlier joined the Air Force in September 1959, going to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for basic training. After training, he was sent to logistics school at Amarillo Air Force Base. His first assignment was at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. After 18 months at Clark, Sadlier took a concurrent overseas assignment at RAF Wethersfield, England.

In 1963, Sadlier was honorably discharged from the Air Force and attended college using college credits he accumulated while in the military. A year before graduating from what is now the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Sadlier renewed his interest in flying, and joined the Navy effective upon graduation. After college, he graduated from Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) in Florida as an Ensign, receiving his wings in 1968.

His first assignment was Vietnam, but first he went to Fort Rucker, Alabama, for UH-1 (Huey) transition, gunnery and tactics and to survival training in Warner Springs, California. Arriving in Vietnam in 1969, Sadlier’s squadron moved, sometimes as often as every six weeks, between the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. During his duty in Vietnam, he flew 483 combat missions, sometimes flying up to six combat missions in one day. He also flew about 200 non-combat flights.

During 1970-1973, his duty station was Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, assigned to Fleet Composite Squadron Eight (VC-8) where he flew UH-3, S-2 and A-4 aircraft. In 1973, Sadlier was transferred to the west coast for sea duty with Antisubmarine Squadron Two, HS-2. During a deployment aboard the USS Enterprise, he was part of the historic evacuation of Vietnam.

After that, he transferred to the Fleet Replacement Squadron at NAS North Island as a flight simulator, ground instructor and a department head. In 1980, Sadlier returned to sea duty with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One, deploying aboard the USS Coral Sea.

In 1982, his next duty assignment was to the Navy Manpower Analysis Center ascertaining manpower requirements for Aviation Squadrons west of the Mississippi including the Western Pacific. After this assignment, he was sent to Pearl Harbor, becoming the Director of the Family Services Center. He reorganized the department and conducted training programs to deal with domestic violence in the military. In 1984, he was sent to San Diego as a contract administrator for the Naval Substance Abuse Program, managing 34 worldwide sites. He set up the substance abuse management office to operate independently when it transferred from a command department to a detachment of the Naval Personnel Command.

After over 20 years of service, Sadlier retired in 1986. Not willing to rest on his laurels, he became a San Diego police officer, retiring as a detective.

His many military decorations include: Air Medal (22 Strike Flight, 2 Single Action), Navy Commendation, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation (2), Meritorious Unit Citation (2), Good Conduct, Navy Expeditionary, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Vietnam Service, VN Cross of Gallantry (Brigade Level), Air Gallantry Cross, VN Campaign, RVN Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross and Civil Action Colors).

Sadlier lives in Coronado with his wife, Diane (retired police detective), and has four adult children and five grandchildren. The Sadliers have a long history with the military. Commander Sadlier’s father and father-in-law were retired World War II veterans and their son is a retired Marine major. According to Rick Sadlier, “we are three generations of family members who have proudly served our country.”

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