Surratt, Richard

Richard Surratt was born in 1925 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. His father was a World War I veteran, and died soon after Richard was born. Richard had two bothers and two half sisters.

Richard entered service in the Army Air Corp on March, 1941, he lied about his age, because he so badly wanted to serve. Richard was sent overseas in later 1941 to the Pacific Theater of Operations. He flew 34 missions from India to China over the Himalayas. For the high caliber of his work, which included 211 flying hours, Richard received the Air Medal.

Richard, completing his missions and came home. After some time at home and additional training he was sent to England to the European Theater of Operations where he was a radioman-gunner on a Martin B-26 Marauder Medium Bomber with the
452nd Bomber Squadron, 322nd Bomber Group, Medium. The B-26 included a crew of two pilots, bombardier/radio operator, navigator/radio operator, three gunners. After the war, the B-26’s were scrapped and the Air Force adopted the A-26 and re-designated them as B-26’s because of the high landing speed and consequentially, high rate of accidents.

The website for the 322nd Bomber Group records:

The 322nd bombed railroad and highway bridges, oil tanks, and missile sites in preparation for the invasion of Normandy; on June 6, 1944, it hit coastal defenses and gun batteries; afterward, during the Normandy campaign, it pounded fuel and ammunition dumps, bridges, and road junctions. Supported the allied offensive at Caen and the breakthrough at St Lo. Aided the drive of the third army across France. Bombed bridges, road junctions, defended villages, and ordnance depots in the assault on the Siegfried Line.

Staff Sergeant Richard Surratt was killed In action on November 9, 1944, over France. He is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery, in Belgium.

Richard’s wife, Lorraine, who at the time of his death lived in Terre Haute, Indiana, was expecting Richard’s baby.

Richard’s brother, Private First Class James C., also served in the south Pacific.
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