Richard G. Curry
G. Curry, born April 3, 1926 graduated from Butler County High
School in June of 1943 at the age of 17.
April of 1943 Richard enlisted in the Air Corps. A few weeks later
Richard's cousin David R. Curry (TG on Kobler's Crew) enlisted
under the "buddy system". By doing David & his cousin, Richard
would be assigned to the same military bases throughout their
worked on weekends and after school in the restaurant section
of G.C. Murphy store. In June of 43, upon completing his high
school education and having to wait until his 18th birthday to
report for active duty, Richard (and David) went to the Pennsylvania
State Employment Agency to see what was available. They choose
to work at the Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, CA. The government
would pay their way out and back as well as provide living quarters
provided they agreed to stay a minimum of 6 months. His cousin
David seemed reluctant and at the last moment, his parents would
not permit him to leave. Richard proceeded alone to California.
Mare Island Navy Yard, Richard was assigned to work on the metal
lathe in the machine shop. He attended machinist-training classes
one day a week. The other days he was machining replacement parts
for the submarines docked there. Curry became very proficient
in his job " I would go to the Sub, take measurements, and machine
the parts needed". After writing home to his cousin about his
work, David soon followed. Together again, they not only shared
a cottage, but worked in the same building. David was assigned
to radial drill press.
February 1944 Richard and David decided to return home to spend
additional time with their family and friends before they shipped
(L) and Richard Curry celebrating their 19th Birthdays.
This is the last photo taken of David
5, 1944 he left Pittsburgh and arrived at Camp Atturburry, Maryland.
Curry was given a very rigid and thorough physical examinations
and about 20 inoculations during his week there. From there they
were sent to Keelser Field, Mississippi by train for "Basic Training".
3 months of rugged and physical training David was sent to Ft
Myers, Florida for "Airplane Gunnery School" training, flying
in B-24 Bombers. Six weeks later reporting to Lincoln, Nebraska
for permanent assignment to Captain Thomas Wren's crew.
May 5, 1945, Curry and his crew left Lincoln, Nebraska and flew
to Sacramento, CA. Their first overseas stop was at Hickham Field
Hawaii where they stayed for two days and another stop at Kawajalin
for refueling. In Hawaii there were the remains if the ships sunk
by the Japanese on their bombing and torpedo raids from December
7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. The island of Kawajalin had been striped
bare by the battle fought there. "There were so many pieces of
ruined military equipment strewed on the island and beaches. Just
seeing this was sobering experience for all of us."
Curry and his pet monkey
returned home through stormy seas on the USS St. Cleare. Seasickness
prevailed throughout the trip. Even airmen that had never been
affected by motion sickness were not exempt. The sights and smells
of sick people that abounded throughout the ship were too much
for even the hardiest to endure.
was finally discharged at Camp Atturbury, Indiana having served
in the U.S. Air Corps from May 1944 until May 1946. During that
time he flew 20 combat missions. He also served in Hawaii, Kawajalin,
Saipan, the Philippines and Iwo Jima.
the end of the war, Curry held the rank of Staff Sergeant. He
went on to serve another 6 years in the Air Force Reserves.
Richard G. Curry
Tail Gunner, P-19
his service, Curry received the Air Medal with a Bronze Oak Leaf
Cluster, the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with a Bronze star, Distinguished
Unit Badge, Aerial Gunner Wings, Meritorious Unit Award, Commendation
Award, American Theater Ribbon, and the WWII Victory Medal.
in Butler, Curry worked as a machinist and as a foreman of the
Processing Maintenance Department for 38 years service before
retiring from Armco-Butler Works.
has served as president of the Armco Management Club. He also
has served 3 years on the Butler Area Sewer Authority and on the
United Way Community campaigns in the industrial division.
is an avid bowler and golfer and was active in Little League baseball.
He is also very active in veterans' organizations.
is a life member and presently Commander of Disabled American
Veterans Chapter 64. He is also the Chapter's Historian.
is a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 249 in Butler,
where he presently serves as surgeon and Americanism Historian.
Curry also serves as Post 249's honor guard for Ritual and Burial
Ceremonies for veterans.
also has a life membership in the Lyndora American Legion Post
778, and has been very active in the planning of the Post's new
building and Park area.
also volunteers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and serves
as a member of the County's Memorial Day and Veterans Day parade