Richard F. Wells was born in 1924 to Julia and Leroy Wells from Cherry Creek, New York. He was one of seven children. His sister Jean, who was five years younger than Richard, remembers him as a very happy child. His favorite song to sing was "Red River Valley" which he sang on the way to school.


Ricard home on Furlough before being shipped
overseas (picture Courtesy of Ric Kropat)

 

82nd Engineer Combat Battalion

Richard was a student when he joined the Army on 1 February 1943 in Buffalo. After training he became an engineer attached to Company B of the 82nd Engineer Combat Battalion.

Early September 1944 the Battalion found itself on the frontline near the Dutch-Belgian border. The Allied advance was temporarily halted because the Germans had build defense lines along the canals in that area.

Richard was a member of patrol under command of Lt. Edward J. Fairchild, seeking an appropriate site for bridging the Albert Canal. The other members of the patrol were Lt. Fairchild, Pfc Ash and Pvt Chemenskie. The patrol apparently ran into a German patrol.

Capt. John R. Davies of the 113th Cavalry Group later found their vehicle and the body of Cpl. Wells. The other three were taken PoW.


The telegram the Wells family received to notify them of their son's death. picture courtesy of Ric Kropat.

Lt. Fairchild from California was sent to Oflag 64 or 21B Schubin (Moved to Usedom) Poland, Altburgund 53-17. Pfc. William Ash from Ohio was sent to Stalag 7A Moosburg Bavaria 48-12 (Work Camps 3324-46 Krumbachstrasse 48011, and Work Camp 3368 Munich 48-11)


Doris Wells visited Richard's grave at Margraten not long after the war.
(picture courtesy of Ric Kropat)

Cpl Richard Wells is buried at Margraten American Military Cemetery, Plot J Row 6 Grave 6.


picture courtesy of Ric Kropat


Margraten, The Netherlands

See also:

Other casualties of the 82nd Engineer Combat Battalion

Sources and Acknowledgements:
Mr. Ric Kropat
Mr. Buol Hinman, Co A, 82nd Engineer Combat Battalion
Mr. Edward Husted, 82nd Engineer Combat Battalion
82nd Engineer Combat Battalion website


Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery

Posted 13 September 2005
Updated 22 January 2006
Updated 27 March 2013


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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