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FIELD Richard "Dick", 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion

Page Under construction : Richard FIELD was born in Liberty on august 20th 1924 . In 1943, he was volonteer for airborne training in the US. Army. He was affected to company B of the 551st parachute infantry battalion , went throught basic training and was sent with his unit to Fort Kobbe on november 23rd 1943 in the Panama canal zone.In august 1943, back to united stades he was sent to Camp Mackall, North Carolina until march 1944. He got differents airborne and military training including jumping out a CG-4A Waco army glider double towed by C47 airplane. Sent in European theatre he participate to the Italian campaing until mid August.

On august 15th 1944 Dick  and his fellow of the 551st parachute infantry battalion made the jumped  during operation Dragoon in Southern France, the second "D" day . dropped West of the Village of La Motte, at 6.30 pm on the next day he and the men of the 551st under Colonel JOERG command lead the attack and liberated Draguignan city 5 miles North of the drop Zone.

Dick is also participate to the liberation of La Napoule, Cannes and Nice end of august 1944.  After that, the 551st was sent on the valleys behind Nice city in the Maritime Alpes along the Italian-French border. HQ was at Saint Martin Vésubie.

In november, the 551st PIB is assigned to the 82nd airnorne division and was sent to Laon. northern East France

On december 16th 1944 the battle of the bulge started and the men of the 551st  lead many attacks.

from a total of 825 men, only 14 officers and 96 men of his battalion were left after they liberated the hamlet of Rochelinval in Belgium on january 7th 1945. During this week, Dick had frozen feet and was evacuated to northern France and cross the chanel. He spend 2 monthes on Oxford and have been sent back to his outfit.

The remaining men were sent to Juslenville to recover. From there, the men were spread over the 82nd Airborne divison. Dick ended up with B company of the 505th parachute regiment and fought his way through Germany.

Richard FIELD went back to USA in december 1945. Dick and his wife Ann moved to Southern California in the mid-seventies where he continued his career in the automobile industry retiring in the 90's. He was lucky to survive to this terrible war and as soon as he was retired he started coming back to the places he liberated in Europe.  Dick came back in southern France with his friend Joe Killgore and we had the privilege to welcome and met him for this first time in 1995, and in Palmspring 1997 . Since this date Dick loved coming back in Europe, he was for us a hero but was full of love respect, and kindness for us and all the french people he met during his trips. Dick was the kind of men that you can't forget at the first time you met him and that you are proud to have been part of his life. We learned a lot from him but the most important thing was his Modesty.

Richard FIELD passed away in 2016, but his daughter Ginny and grand daughter Rachel still coming back to honnor him and the men of the 551st parachute infantry Battalion. Rest in Peace old friend, you always host a special place in our hearts.

 


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