COLEY W. RICHARDSON|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter from Bill Richardson (son of Coley) to Will Lundy)
2451 Cedar Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30243
I greatly appreciate your having sent me the negatives for "Flak Alley." As you requested many months ago, I am returning the negative (sorry it took so long).
I found Schaeffer's diary entry most interesting and have written him for more details. Also I found Dad's records about his last flight extremely interesting. Schaeffer's diary matches what Dad told me about his last flight, i.e., the plane he was on was not his regular plane. Since we last wrote, I have found a picture that I think is my Dad's original plane. The nose number is 3371 and the pictures shows (my Dad, maybe, and the rest of the crew). Quite unexpectedly, my Dad's brother came across the picture in a magazine while at the VA Hospital. He thought the picture looked a lot like my father and gave it to me. I was able t get the negative copied and have pictures if they would be of any interest to anyone. I guess I would also like to know if this plane really is my father's as well. Any suggestion?
I am also on another project concerning Dad's war records. I am trying to recreate my father's awards. I do not have a DD-214 for Dad, so there is not a clear "official" record of his awards, his records were lost in a fire at the Air Force Headquarters. However, I have his ribbons and replacement medals. His original medals were stolen just after he married Mom. Mom wrote the Air Force for Dad and had them reissued in the 60s, so I think the medals I have are Korean War vintage. The medals I have are: (1) Prisoner of war - issued posthumously after much work my Mom, (2) Distinguished Flying Cross, (3) Decorated air medal (I think this was called an EAM for European Air Medal), (4) Purple Heart.
Additionally, I have an envelope full of his memorabilia, dog tags, a French award. However his ribbons that were not stolen. The medals show the EAM was awarded four times, e.g. three oak leaf clusters. Also, the ribbon shows a green, white, red, white, blue striped medal that I do not recognize and a small brown, white, black ribbon that I do not recognize and a red and white striped ribbon. A cannon which read "unique canon" across the top and "quo fas et gloria du cont" across the bottom. I know nothing about this award and wonder if you might be some help in identifying it and the other ribbons.
Since my father was shot down, wounded, captured, and evacuated I am not sure he received all the awards his unit rated. He was discharged after the War. His discharge papers were addressed to a hospital in Omaha, so I suspect he was still recovering when he was released. By the way, when he bailed out of the plane, he hit hard and suffered a compound fracture of his left leg that was pinned by the Germans in a POW hospital. Dad never talked about that part very much, so I am a little sketchy on the details. Anyway, I have had Dad's funeral flag mounted in a case and want to have a riser built to encase all his awards. For this project I am trying to make sure I capture all the awards (personal and unit) he rates. The Air Force is "zero" help because of the fire. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated, as would copies, if available, of "My Peaches" pictures and information on the "3371 plane."
Again, thanks for your help.