Vietnam Experience

Vietnam Experience


At 4’ 9” 97lbs, Richard J. Flaherty needed a congressional waiver to join the Army. He attended infantry OCS and was commissioned a 2Lt on August 31,1967. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY. He went to Vietnam with the Division and served as a Platoon Leader and Recon Platoon Leader with companies B, C and D, 1st Battalion, 501st Airborne Infantry Rgt. He and his platoon fought during some of the heaviest fighting on the outskirts of Hue during the Tet Offensive. He earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star w/V, Bronze Star (3OLC), Purple Heart (1OLC), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Parachutist Badge among others for his service.
After his tour he returned to CONUS and attended the Special Forces Officer Course at Fort Bragg, NC. Upon graduation he was assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group. He returned to South East Asia and the 46th Special Forces Company in Thailand. He served as an A Detachment Commander and Liaison Officer. In 1970 he was reassigned to the 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Devens, MA. He served as both an A and B detachment Commander. He was discharged in October, 1971 as a Captain.
His decommission in 1971(RIF) was unexpected and devastating, and Flaherty sank into the murky world of private contract work. He is believed to have worked as a military contractor in Rhodesia and Angola.
Captain Flaherty's incredible life story was captured in the recent book and documentary, The Giant Killer.
The Silver Star
Flaherty, Richard J Second Lieutenant Infantry Company C 1st Battalion (Airborne) 501st 20, April 1968 - Republic of Vietnam
For gallantry in action in the Republic of Vietnam on 20 April 1968. Second Lieutenant Flaherty distinguished himself while serving as a platoon leader of Company C 1st Battalion Airborne Infantry. Company C was involved in combat operations in the Quang Dien District Thua Thien Province. At 1140 hours, 2nd Lieutenant Flaherty's platoon the lead platoon was taken under intensive automatic weapons and RPG fire. 2nd Lt. Flaherty realizing the seriousness of the contact, immediately maneuvered his platoon to deliver a flanking assault against the enemy position. Throughout the battle he repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire in order to better direct the suppressive fire of his squads. 2nd Lieutenant Flaherty immediately called a 90 mm recoilless rifle team to his position after having spotted an enemy bunker position to his front which was delivering automatic weapons fire on his platoon. 2nd Lieutenant Flaherty then personally directed the team in an assault of the enemy bunker, braving the intense hail of hostile fire. Under 2nd Lieutenant Flaherty's astute direction and leadership the enemy bunker was swiftly destroyed, enabling his platoon to advance and continue its devastating attack against the enemy. 2nd Lieutenant Flaherty's extraordinary heroism while engaged in close combat with a well dug-in enemy force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
By direction of the President of the United States under provisions of the Act of Congress established 9 July 1918.
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This Vietnam Experience page helps bring awareness to an authentic display that brings the story of The Vietnam Experience is a permanent two and one-half acre exhibit and is included in the USS Yorktown museum admission price.

Your ONE General Admission ticket gets you access all of the exhibits located at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, including:
USS Yorktown
USS Laffey
USS Clamagore
Medal of Honor Museum
The Vietnam Experience Exhibit
Cold War Memorial
All self-guided tours and exhibits
General Admission for ages 12-61 $20.00
General admission for children ages 6-11. (Under 6yrs - free) $12.00
General admission for seniors ages 62+ $17.00

Operating as usual




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Congratulations on your retirement!

Our Senior Museum Curator David Clark has put his blood, sweat and tears into making our museum great for more than 40 years, and we couldn't be more thankful for his dedication.

During his time here, he helped bring the museum to life from day one as a painter, aircraft curator, exhibits curator, the go-to guy for all fact checking, and just about any other job you can name.

From everyone here at Patriots Point, THANK YOU for your service and knowledge over the years. We wish you a very happy retirement.


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Vietnam Experience's cover photo


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Coming in Fall 2017! The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, is a ten part, 18 and a half hour documentary film series that sheds new light on the military, political, cultural, social, and human dimensions of a tragedy of epic proportions that took the lives of 58,000 Americans and as many as three millio… 04/04/2016

Vietnam Veterans: "Thank you and welcome home." - VAntage Point

Welcome Home VA is a major partner in the commemoration, hosting 329 events at VA facilities across the nation today to honor and thank Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.




40 Patriots Point Rd
Mount Pleasant, SC

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 6:30pm
Tuesday 9am - 6:30pm
Wednesday 9am - 6:30pm
Thursday 9am - 6:30pm
Friday 9am - 6:30pm
Saturday 9am - 6:30pm
Sunday 9am - 6:30pm

Other Mount Pleasant museums (show all)
Mr. Mr.
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40 Patriots Point Rd
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636-G Long Point Road, No 32
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