CAPT H. E. Reichert, USN

CAPT H.E. Reichert was the fourth Commanding Officer of the USS STERETT (DLG 31).  He assumed command from CAPT Jack Hilton on 6 March 1972.

Captain Reichert enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944, was commissioned an Ensign in 1948, and served until his retirement in 1978.  He graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and from George Washington University with a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration.  He also graduated from the U. S. Naval Intelligence school as a “Translator/Interpreter” in the Russian language and later was an instructor at the facility.  An Intelligence Officer and Briefer on the Supreme Allied Commander’s staff, Atlantic Fleet.  He later served in intelligence positions for the U.S. Navy in Yokosuka, Japan and the U.S. Army in Hokkaido, Japan.

Captain Reichert was a veteran of World War II, Korea, the Cuban Conflict, and the Vietnam War.  He served one year “In-Country” Vietnam as Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel and eight years on several ships as either Executive Officer or Commanding Officer (USS SAUFLEY and USS STERETT).  It was during his command of the Destroyer Leader Guided Missile Ship STERETT, while affording missile protection to a cruiser and two destroyers who were conducting shore bombardment of enemy positions off Dong Hoi, Vietnam, that Captain Reichert received the Silver Star Medal, the third highest military decoration the country can award, for gallantry in action in the Gulf of Tonkin for destroying two North Vietnam aircraft and two PT Boats, the first to ever attack a U.S. Naval formation, the first ship in Naval history to use computerized naval tactical systems to destroy both aircraft and surface ships.   He retired as Commanding Officer Fleet Combat Direction Systems Support Activity, San Diego.

He also was awarded the Legion of Merit with combat V and gold star, the Navy Commendation Medal with combat V and gold stars, the Navy and Meritorious Unit Commendations, 11 campaign service and theater medals, and other awards including decorations from the Republics of Vietnam and Korea.

Captain Reichert was married to wife Betty and was the father of two daughters, Christine and Katherine, and two sons, Kurt and Carl.  He passed away 3 July 2020.

Interned at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, CA.

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