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.
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
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