Richard, George L. (811th)

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Biography:  George Leo Richard was born on December 18, 1922, in Daviess County, Indiana. He was the son of Jules and Eva Richard and attended local schools through the grammar level. His enlistment record indicates he was working at a general woodworking occupation prior to the war, specifically at the Hincher Manufacturing Company, which was owned by E.C. Hermstraff.

Service Time:  George entered the service on December 28, 1942, at Evansville, Indiana. After his basic training, he was assigned to the 3rd Platoon of Company C, 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion. They trained at a number of locations including, Camp Hood, Texas, Camp Carson, Colorado., Camp Lagua, Arizona, and Camp Gruber, Oklahoma. From there they moved to Louisiana and the Tennessee Maneuvers involving Camp Claiborne and Camp Livinston.

Their last station was Camp Miles Standish in Boston, where there did their final preparations before shipping out on September 5, 1944. They arrived at Cherbourg, France, on September 15th. They were equipped with M18 tank destroyers and moved to Luxembourg in November, participating in the Battle of the Bulge in December.

The battalion was scattered widely with portions attached to many divisions into January, 1945. The unit supported operations against the Siegfried Line in February and early March and advanced to the Rhine in late March, finally crossing the river on the 30th. They supported the 80th Infantry Division in the capture of Kassel, Germany, and advanced to Erfurt and Chemnitz, Germany, in April. They moved south and crossed the Danube River to Regensburg, entering Austria on May 5th.

The 811th received credit for three campaigns, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe and George left the service at the rank of Technician 5th Grade.

We have limited information about George after the war but we do know that on June 20, 1947, he married the former Donna Jean Wininger, who was born in Washington, IN, and was the daughter of Sherman L. Wininger and Retta M. Cutshall. The couple was living in Washington and had two children, a daughter Mary and a son Paul. Sadly, Donna was killed in a car accident in 1970.

George would marry again on April 18, 1975, to the former Mary Ellen Day, who was born in Bedford, IN, and was the daughter of Lawrene A. Day and Pearl E. Allen.

We only have two records for George’s employment following his return home. The 1950 census shows him working for the Metal Products Company. His death certificate indicates he was working for the Crane Ammo Depot.  George passed away on December 12, 1997, and was buried in the Oak Grave Cemetery in Washington, IN. We want to thank George’s great-grandson, Tristan, for providing information and the main photo for this tribute. Thank you also to Find A Grave contributor Cindy Sullivan, who is a great niece to George, for use of the grave marker photo.

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