Captain Richard Lee Kendel
Capt Richard Lee Kendel was born August 28, 1954 in Los Angeles, California to Robert and Dorla Kendel. It was in high school that Richard discovered his desire to fly, and began taking flying lessons.
He had two brothers, Bob and Mike and they grew up in La Crescenta, California. He enjoyed family fishing trips and, along with his brother, Mike, developed a fondness for waterskiing.
After graduating, Richard attended the University of Colorado Boulder, and received his BS in Aerospace Engineering May 21, 1976. He was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant that same day. While stationed at Randolph AFB, he met his future wife, Mary. Tragically, on June 1, 1983, Capt Kendel perished in a mid-air collision over Rheinland-Pfaltz, Germany while piloting his F-15 fighter jet. He was 28 years old.
As his brother, Mike, said so eloquently, “In all, it is a tragic cost that we all pay for the freedom we enjoy in this country. But we also remember with love and joy, the quality of the people that we lose. As for Richard, he was doing what he truly loved to do and, except for the accident at the end, I don’t think he would have changed a darned thing.” ~Mike Kendel