Richard D. Melcher, 67, a retired Air Force colonel who later was a civilian intelligence officer at Coast Guard headquarters here, died of cancer Monday at his in Falls Church.
Col. Melcher, who was born in Omaha, began his military career as a private in the Nebraska National Guard. Before World War II, he worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and for the Household Finance company.
After he was called to active duty in the war, he was commissioned. He commanded an infantry company in the 35th Infantry Division at Omaha Beach on D-Day during the Normandy Invasion. His decorations included the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and two Purple Heart medals.
In 1945, he was assigned to the Army Inspector General's office. In 1949, he transferred to the Air Force's newly formed Office of Special Investigations. His subsequent service included duty in Washington, as a director of the OSI agents training school, and in Spain, Germany and elsewhere. He retired in 1964.
In 1967, Col. Melcher went to work at Coast Guard headquarters as a civilian intelligence specialist. He retired a second time in 1975.
Survivors include his wife, Carol C. Melcher, and his daughter, Melody Lynn Melcher, both of Falls Church, and three brothers, retired Army Lt. Col. John F. Melcher of Cashmore, Wash., retired Army Lt. Col. P. R. Melcher of Redlands, Calif., and Robert O. Melcher of Omaha.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Hospice of Northern Virginia, Inc., 4715 N. 15th St., Arlington, Va.