Richard "DIck" A. Hanford never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on September 19, 1917 in Nebraska. His mother was also born in Nebraska while his father was born in New York. His father worked as a clothes merchant and later as a laundry dry cleaner when the family moved to Oregon. Still later he worked as a salesman. Richard had a older sister and a younger sister. By 1940 Richard had completed four years of high school and was still living at home while working as a salesman.
He enlisted in the Army Air Forces on October 19, 1943. Dick would serve for less than one year. He became a second lieutenant in the 762nd Bombardment Squadron, 460th Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force which was equipped with B-24 Liberators. Lt. Hanford was trained as a bombardier.
On October 16, 1944 Lt. Hanford's plane, White K for Knight, took off from Spinazzola Airbase with a mission to bomb the aircraft factory in St. Valentine, Austria. Anti-aircraft fire over the target was intense and accurate. Lt. Hanford's B-24 exploded in mid-air. Eight of the crew were able to jump out, but Lt. Hanford and one other man did not and died when it crashed.
His grave is at Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland, Oregon.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100