Richard was the youngest son of Admiral Douglas Lionel Dent, C.B., C.M.G., and Olive Kate Dent [nee McArthur]. He was born in the Erpingham area of Norfolk.

He was educated at Cranbrook and matriculated in 1937. He graduated with a 2nd in Classical Mods in 1939.

He joined the RAFVR and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 3 October 1940.

He was killed on 11 February 1941.

11 February 1941, “A signal was received from the adjutant No.10 BGS Dumfries stating that a Hudson aircraft No.T9296 belonging to No.1 COTU had crashed at Dalbeattie in the County of Dumfries at 1110 hrs.
The following occupants were killed
F/O  R.E. Dent 74670
Sgt/Pilot C.A.R.P. King 754223
Sgt W/Op Ag K. Thorpe 746797
Sgt W/Op A.G. Smith 818148
Another body was also discovered but so far it is not known who he is nor where he came from. The bodies are now in Dumfries Infirmary. The machine was completely destroyed by fire.”

His name is on the Glasgow Crematorium Memorial and the Aylmerton War Memorial.

Probate was granted to his father. His Effects totalled £1308-5-10.

His brother Digby was killed in Italy in September 1943 and his brother Peter was killed, accidentally, during the war.