In remembrance of CDR Richard "Dick" Colley who served in VP-6 from 1949 to 1952
CDR Richard T. Colley, passed away Friday, December 5th, 2003.
Dick Colley (right) and John Dolph (left) circa 1950
Dick was an AL3/1st radioman in Bill Goodman's crew in Japan in mid 1950 when an engine was damaged in combat with North Korean gunboats and had to ditch. The entire crew survived thanks to action by other VP6 P2V crews and to the British light cruiser Kenya and a UK destroyer. See photos HERE
. Charles Pomeroy has written a story about this incident and can be found HERE
Dick attended the 2002 Alpine, 2003 Laguna, and 2003 San Diego reunions.
Richard continued in the navy 37 years, retiring as CDR. He and Maxwayne celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in Hawaii about 3+ years ago and visited with Charles and Atsuko Pomeroy.
Dick Colley (front) with Rhea, Unk, and John Dolph
I have one vivid memory of Dick Colley.
When Bill Goodman decided to ditch on that fateful August 16, 1950, as junior pilot my ditching station was aft of the wing, sitting on the deck facing aft with my back propped up against the wing and my head between my knees. Colley's position, as best I recall, was at his seat in front of his radio equipment, immediately to my left and above.
Dick Colley’s VP-6 squadron patch ‘49-’52
After we were picked up from the sea, Colley came to me and asked if I knew why I had a narrow trickle of blood down my forehead. I allowed as how I had no idea, as I did not remember my head hitting anything. He then told me that one of the radio units at his station may not have been adequately secured, because it came flying out when the plane hit the ocean. Whether or not the radio unit creased my scalp we will never know, but I did find a small cut on the top of my head and for many years I could feel the resulting bump.
So I am thankful for two things: First, that my head was low enough not to suffer any worse damage. Second, that we had on our crew a man as honest and considerate as Dick Colley. He didn't have to tell me his concerns, but he did, and that says a lot about him.
I am sad to hear that Richard Colley has passed away.
He was my leader for most of my flights during the Atsugi Deployment and he was outstanding. His character, integrity, work ethic, ability, leadership, teamwork, and dedication all worked together to make him highly respected by all who knew him.
I never doubted that he would become a lifer in the Navy. When I heard that he had retired as a ranking officer after 37-1/2 years. I was happy to hear it, for he loved the Navy and his job.
Should there ever be a VP-6 Hall of Fame, he should be one of the first persons nominated.
AL3 Richard Colley VP-6
His accomplishments were many, including being a crew member with Midshipman David Styles and others on the first P2V to be shot down and survive. During the Tachikawa and Atsugi Deployments, he must have flown over 70 daring flights along the Russian, China and North Korean coasts. For these flights he received the Distinguished Flying Cross
and several Air Medals. These are just his accomplishments during a little over two years that I knew him during 1950 to 1952.
Jack, I am really proud that I knew Dick Colley for those years. I didn't have contact with him after my discharge from the Navy in 1952, but he definitely had a positive impact on my life.
I bid farewell to a good shipmate who did his job well.
Dick and Maxwayne Colley 2002
Dick Colley 2002