Richard Lee Scott was born in Sprigfield, Maine in 1905. He graduated from Bangor High School in1925 and entered U.S. Military Academy the same year. He graduated in 1929 -- 53rd in a class of 300.
Second Lieutenant Scott was first assigned to the Fifth Infantry at Fort Williams, Maine where he performed duty as a company officer until October l931.
In 1931 Second Lieutenant Scott was detailed to the Ordnance Department and stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. He remained there until June 1933 when he was assigned to the Ordnance School at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT he received a masters degree in science.
In 1935, having completed the Ordnance School and his four-year detail in the Ordnance Department, Lieutenant Scott returned to the Infantry and was assigned to the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga. He graduated in June 1936 and was assigned to the 33rd Infantry at Fort Clayton, Canal Zone. After two years at Fort Clayton he returned to the United States for assignment with the Seventh Infantry Regiment at Vancouver Barracks, Wash. He remained at Vancouver until July 1940 at which time he was reassigned to the Infantry School at Fort Benning. During these 11 years with the Infantry, Captain Scott was assigned primarily to company officer duties with some experience at regimental headquarters.
In August 1940 Captain Scott was detailed in the Finance Department of the Army and assigned to the Finance School at Camp Holabird, Md. Following a four-month course, Scott was assigned as the finance officer at Selfridge Field Mich., where for the first time he had duty with the Air Corps. From then until now Scott has been assigned continuously with the U.S. Air Force. In the period 1941 to the present he has served with the Air Force in many different capacities. He was finance officer at Selfridge and at Chanute Air Force bases. He was staff finance officer with the Western Technical Training Command in Denver for nine months in 1943. In the fall of 1943 he became executive officer at Sheppard Field. In 1944 he was transferred to Keesier Field in the same capacity. In l946, following a four month course at Yale University in Asiatic Studies, he was assigned to the Fifth Air Force in Tokyo. There he served as adjutant general until July 1, 1947, at which time he again reverted to the finance field and became the budget officer and later comptroller of the Far East Air Forces.
In June 1948 Colonel Scott returned to the Zone of Interior and attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair. Upon graduation in 1949 Colonel Scott became the chief of the Finance Division at Air Materiel Command. While at Air Materiel Command Colonel Scott was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work in reorganizing the finance activities of Air Materiel Command.
In January 1952 Colonel Scott was assigned to the Air Force Finance Center where he served as comptroller deputy chief of staff for plans and operations, deputy commander and then early in 1953 he assumed command of the Air Force Finance Center. In June 1953 he was promoted to brigadier general. In August 1954 General Scott was reassigned from the Air Force Finance Center to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as deputy director of finance. He remained in this assignment until July 1956 when the Directorate of Accounting and the Directorate of Finance were combined into the present Directorate of Accounting and Finance. Upon that consolidation General Scott was assigned as the deputy director of Accounting and Finance. In April l957 General Scott assumed his present assignment as comptroller, Air Research and Development Command.
DECORATIONS AND MEDALS
Army Commendation Medal
World War II Victory Medal
American Defense Service Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
American Defense Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Shortly after he reported as executive officer at Sheppard Field in 1943, Colonel Scott was asked by the base operations officer if he would like to learn to fly. The operations officer pointed out that it was quite easy to get a service pilot's rating, and not very expensive if all instruction were received in military planes.
Colonel Scott discussed the matter with Major General James E. Chaney, the base commander, who agreed, with the limitation only that Colonel Scott would at no time fly military planes solo.
A captain was assigned as flying instructor, flying equipment issued and every morning Colonel Scott flew for an hour before work.
When he was ready to solo, Colonel Scott rented a plane at a civilian flying school across the base. The solo flight was celebrated by a party, a write-up in "Texacts," the base newspaper, and many congratulations.
About two months later Colonel Scott rode as a passenger in a BT-9 piloted by a service pilot who had presumably earned his rating in the same manner Colonel Scott was pursuing. In attempting to land after dark, the pilot ran the plane off the runway out into the middle of the airdrome where it crashed into a six-by-six truck, both the pilot and Colonel Scott were hospitalized for slight injuries.
The accident investigation uncovered the fact that the pilot had falsely logged time he had never flown, that he had thus never qualified as a service pilot, that he had not been checked out in the BT-9, that he had never before made a night landing, and that the board had not properly met when he was awarded his rating. The investigation also pointed out that conducting flying training at other than flying schools was prohibited by Army regulations.
The end result was that Colonel Scott's dream of becoming a rated officer collapsed. He received instead a court-martial for "Wrongfully receiving flying instructions" and was officially reprimanded.
It is interesting to note that the newspapers quite frequently refer to the fact at President Eisenhower learned to fly in the Philippines in military airplanes with a military instructor.