Retired Jan. 1, 1982.
Brigadier General Richard T. Drury is vice commander of the Military Traffic Management Command, Washington, D.C. The command is a jointly staffed, major Army command serving as the Department of Defense single-manager operating agency for military traffic, land transportation and common-user ocean terminal service.
General Drury was born in 1927 in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and graduated from high school at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. He was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and graduated in 1950 with a bachelor of science degree in military engineering and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He received a master of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961. General Drury completed the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., in 1965, and the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1970.
He entered pilot training in Texas in June 1950 and then served as pilot, operations officer and safety officer at various bases in France, Korea and Texas. While in Korea he completed 20 combat missions with a total of 87 combat hours in B-26s from April to July 1952. After observer-bombardier training at James Connally Air Force Base, Texas, General Drury was assigned to the 342nd Bombardment Squadron at Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, as a B-47 pilot and later as an aircraft commander.
In January 1959 he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the Air Force Institute of Technology program, where he received his master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics. From June 1960 to August 1964, he was an instructor and then associate professor in the Department of Mechanics at the U.S. Military Academy. After qualifying as a paratrooper at the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga., he proceeded to the Armed Forces Staff College as a student officer.
General Drury transferred to Naha Air Base, Okinawa, as a pilot and squadron operations officer with the 35th and 817th Troop Carrier Squadrons from May 1965 to July 1966. He completed 130 combat missions during 153 combat hours in C-130A's in Vietnam. His next assignment, in September 1966, was at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, as director of tactical operations, 315th Air Division. From January to September 1967, he accumulated 185 combat missions and 208 combat hours in the C-130A, also in Vietnam. In August 1968 he was assigned to the 834th Air Division at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as chief of support operations. He later became senior duty officer, then assistant director of operations and, in January 1969, deputy director of operations.
He returned to the United States in August 1969 to attend the Air War College. In June 1970 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as chief of the Command Plans Branch in the Directorate of Plans. General Drury became commander of the 516th Tactical Airlift Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1971. He went to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., in July 1972 as commander of the 314th Tactical Airlift Wing. In June 1973 he assumed duties as director, international staff, Inter-American Defense Board, Washington, D.C. In July 1974 General Drury become vice commander of 22nd Air Force, Military Airlift Command, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. In October 1977 he become commander, U.S. Forces, Azores, and commander, 1605th Air Base Wing, Lajes Field, Azores. He assumed his present duties in June 1980.
The general's military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation emblem with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with "V" device and two oak leaf clusters, Humanitarian Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and Republic of Portugal Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique.
He was promoted to brigadier general Sept. 1, 1973, with date of rank Aug. 30, 1973.