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Remembering Richards Men on Memorial Day

Floyd Alvin Richards
July 28, 1918 - March 10, 1979

15th AAF in ITALY - T.Sgt. Floyd A. Richards, 25, of Mineral Wells, Texas, Engineer gunner on a AAF B17 Flying Fortress, has been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in air combat.

Sgt. Richards came overseas July 2, 1944, and flew his first mission July 14, to bomb the oil refineries at Budapest, Hungary. He is now a veteran of over 30 long-range missions.

He enlisted in the Army July 19, 1941, and received his wings upon completion of gunnery school at Harlingen, Texas.

His wife, Mrs. Helen Irene Richards, lives at 308 W. Roosevelt Ave., Electra, Texas, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Richards, reside in Mineral Wells.
My uncle, Floyd, was the 3rd of 11 children born to Willie Homsley and John Robert Richards, with my father, Leon, only two years older. They had an older sister, Iwanda, who was three years older than Floyd, but she died when she was six years old. The seven boys in this family all looked a lot alike, but of all of them, I thought Floyd and my daddy, Leon, were more alike.

Helen and Floyd Richards holding son, Ronald Wayne
Vernelle and Leon Richards with daughter, Judith Gail
About 1947 in Grand Prairie or Fort Worth, Texas

 J. D. Richards
Born December 28, 1924 in Whitt, Parker County, Texas

Six years younger than his brother, Floyd, J. D. also served in the Army. Although he is still alive, he suffers from Alzheimer's disease and his children and all of his nieces and nephews sometimes miss his quick wit and family stories; however, he sometimes seems to be his old self.

J. D. Richards
in military uniform

My daddy, Leon, did not serve his country and I think he felt like he was not needed or useful. He was turned down when he went to enlist because of his eyesight. But I feel that he served his time here at home with his family, helping with his parents and other brothers and sisters, as well as his own little family. I have a letter that he wrote from San Antonio to my mother about the enlistment experience. I have transcribed it and you can read it here.

As an adult, I've grown more and more appreciative of the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces. Memorial Day has become a day to think back to those times when they lived and served and to say thank you.


Linda Richards said…
Just went and read this and as always Judy you are awesome. To add to your thoughts I remember being at Leon's one time and was sitting at the table with all the uncles that were there. As I looked at the table they all had their hands in the same position and you could barely tell whose were whose.
Teresa Clements said…
Judy, Love your blog! I have seen pictures of the uncles in military uniforms but never heard any stories of their time served. I find it very interesting that Uncle Floyd was a gunner, would've loved the opportunity to talk to him as an adult about his experiences. Teresa
You know at the time I wrote this post, I didn't remember that Uncle Frank and your dad, my uncle Verdell, also served. I was reminded when you sent me his picture in uniform a few weeks ago. Yes, it would have been something to have sat down and talked to them about their service. Thanks for reading my blog, Teresa!

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