Purple Heart Private
Vernon L. Richardson

December 5, 1944

Oak Grove, Texas - Germany



Vernon L. Richardson was from Oak Grove, Texas. He was the son of Mrs. Maggie Richardson. Vernon attended Emhouse School and Central High School. After graduating he married Clydie Mae Sumrose. Their son, David Joe, was born on 17 August 1941.

Vernon entered the U.S. Army in April 1944, training at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas and Ft. Meade, Maryland. He was attached to the 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division and was shipped overseas to England. Vernon saw action in France and Germany.







116th Infantry Regiment

29th Infantry Division

From October till late November, early December, the 116th Infantry Regiment saw action in the battle for Aachen and the push into Germany. Heavy fighting took a large toll on the men of the 116th. Late November 1944, the Regiment found themselves fighting towards the Ruhr River.

The booklet "29 Let's Go!", published just after the war, writes about this:

"After a short rest, the division moved to defensive positions along the Teveren-Geilenkirchen line in Germany and maintained those positions through October. (In mid-October the 116th Infantry took part in the fighting at the Aachen Gap.) On 16 November the Division began its drive to the Roer, blasting its way through Siersdorf, Setterich, Durboslar, and Bettendorf, and reaching the Roer by the end of the month.

The Roer's west bank still wasn't completely cleared. Between Koslar and the river, Germans held the Julich Sportplatz and the Hasenfeld Gut, northeast of the village. Taking advantage of the high ground behind them and long fields of fire to their front, Nazis clung stubbornly to these strong points. Reducing these fortresses was one of the toughest battles the division fought in Germany.

The 116th hammered at these positions for nearly a week. The Gut, a heavily-fortified estate, held out against two bitter attacks. Supported by fighter-bombers from the XXIX TAC and heavy artillery, the 116th stormed the Sportplatz six times only to be thrown back by concentrated machine gun, mortar and artillery fire.

Eight-inch howitzers were brought up as the fighter-bombers dove, skip-bombed. But the Germans still held.

Relieving the tired 116th Dec. 7, the 115th took up the battle.

Pvt Vernon Richardson was killed on 5 December 1944 in the battle for Julich. He rests at Margraten American Netherlands Cemetery, Plot D Row 1 Grave 6.

Margraten, The Netherlands

See also:
Pfc Donald J. Ogilvie
Pfc John W Pruett
Pfc Julian C Robles
Sgt Jesse G Salajczyk
Sgt Mike P Sanchez
SSgt James E Schulz
Pfc James Baume Stryker

Sources and Acknowledgements:
Mr. Pete Wright of www.jacklummus.com (Picture of Pvt. Richardson used by permission)
Mr. Ed Williams of Navarro County Genealogy and History website

Directions to Margraten American Cemetery

Posted 16 December 2005

If you have any suggestions, comments or additional information, please contact me.

This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.


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