Richard Brims was born on December 27, 1945, in Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on June 7, 1965, and entered the U.S. Air Force Academy on June 26, 1967. Brims graduated with a commission as a 2d Lt on June 9, 1971, and then completed Undergraduate Helicopter Pilot Training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, in August 1972. He was assigned to the 48th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Fairchild AFB, Washington, from August 1972 to 1973, and then with the 21st Special Operations Squadron at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai AFB, Thailand until 1975. During this time, Lt Brims participated in the S.S. Mayaguez rescue operation in May 1975. Maj Brims was killed in an HH-53H accident during exercise Elated Cyclone in the Nevada test range on May 21, 1986. He was buried at the U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, CO.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Richard C. Brims, First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-53 Helicopter Aircraft Commander of the 21st Special Operations Squadron, Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, SEVENTH Air Force, in action on 15 May 1975, at Koh Tang Island, Cambodia. On that date, while engaged in the recovery of the S.S. MAYAGUEZ and crew, Lieutenant Brims successfully landed United States Marines on Koh Tang Island despite overwhelming ground fire. Prior to leaving the island, Lieutenant Brims held his position against heavy ground fire and managed to extract five seriously wounded Marines. He then twice flew his aircraft into intense ground fire, successfully removing remaining groups of United States Marines. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Lieutenant Brims reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.