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Richard Ralph Akard Jr

Military

First lieutenant in the Air Force during World War II, assigned to 352FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron. Flew 90 European missions and received both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal (5 OLC), as well as other decorations. Ended Tour Duty (ETD).

Service

Units served with

Aircraft

  • 42-75528 'Diane III'

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 376FS, 361FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron, 65 Fighter Wing, 8AF USAAF War Weary. Personal aircraft of 1st Lt Richard R Akard Jr.

Associated Place

  • Boxted

    Military site : airfield
    Boxted was built for heavy bombers and became operational from May 1943. In the few months B-26 Marauders of the 386th Bomb Group were stationed there, there were two night attacks by the Luftwaffe. On 17 August 1943, one man was killed when bombs...

  • Raydon

    Military site : airfield
    Although never used as such, Raydon was built during 1942-43 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, with three concrete runways, 50 loop and one pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Initially on loan to the Ninth Air Force, it was first...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Paris, Lamar, TX, USA 20 November 1923

Born to Richard Ralph, Sr. & Frances Etta (nee Collom). He had two older brothers, Gary & Arnold.

Crashed Americus, GA, USA 29 May 1943

Landing Accident Ground Loop Americus, Georgia Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Richard R Akard, 29-May-43.

PT-17 42-16356 - 56 AFFTD

Assigned Raydon, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7, UK 11 April 1944 – 17 June 1944

Assigned to 352FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF.

Transferred Boxted, Colchester, Essex, UK 17 June 1944 – 13 November 1944

Transferred to 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Crashed Boxted, Colchester, Essex, UK 29 June 1944

Taxiing Accident Boxted/Sta 150 Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Richard R Akard, Jr 29-Jun-44.

P-47D 42-75528 - 5ERS 65FW 8AF.

In the News 3 October 1944

The Paris News, October 3, 1944, page 8, column 3; "From an Eighth AAF Fighter Station in England"
From an Eighth AAF Fighter Station in England information has been received that Second Lt. Richard R. Akard flew his Thunderbolt with a fighter-bomber group in a series of devastating attacks on enemy road and rail transport that proved to be one of the biggest air offensives of the war.

Tearing at enemy airfields, supply depots, convoys, marshalling yards, and troop concentrations, in two days, while General Von Kluge's reeling armies were being hammered in France, this group destroyed or damaged the following: 300 railroad cars, 268 army vehicles, 37 locomotives, and 13 aircraft.

Previously, the hard-hitting Thunderbolts set a record for P-47s in the European Theatre by destroying 41 German planes in a single day. In two months following the invasion of the continent, Lieutenant Akard and his flying mates carried out approximately 4,000 operational sorties and dropped close to 500 tons of bombs.

Lieutenant Akard is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Akard Sr. of 47 1/2 Grand Ave. He holds the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

End Tour Duty (ETD) England, UK 13 November 1944

Ended Tour Duty (ETD)

In the News Paris, TX, USA 7 October 1945

The Paris News, 7 Oct 1945, page 2, column 4; "An Education Is War Veterans' Goal at PJC"
Holder of the highest rank in the ex-G.I. group is former First Lt. Richard Akard, 203 Grand Ave., who began service in Battery A, 132nd. At the end of 1943, he transferred to the Air Corps. In his nine months overseas, he piloted a fighter plane for 90 missions over Europe. Psychology is his choice for a major, and he plans to go on to Baylor when he is finished here.

Enlisted Dallas, TX, USA 30 October 1945

Enlistment as Private First Class into Regular Army, Air Corps for Hawaiian Department (per Nat'l Archives online: https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=25&cat=WR26&t...)

Discharged 18 October 1948

Discharged from Regular Army, Air Corps (see photo of application for information about his service in Texas National Guard_

Died Vincennes, IN 47591, USA 23 August 1956

Due to injuries sustained in automobile accident which occurred at 3:30 am. He was survived by his wife, a son and a daughter, as well as his two brothers & his parents.

Buried Paris, TX, USA 25 August 1956

Funeral services were held at Fry and Gibbs Chapel & the burial took place in Meadow Brook Memorial Park. Paris, Lamar County
Texas, USA.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 June 2016 15:17:30 Al_Skiff Changes to suffix, nickname, service number, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/search.php?searchString=Akard&Submit=Search
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbapi.asp?Pilot=Akard&Submit7=Go
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=73004172

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2016 15:55:52 furrykids_2000 Changes to events
Sources

Enlistment records in National Archives; application for military grave marker

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2016 15:36:21 furrykids_2000 Changes to highest rank
Sources

Application for military grave marker

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2016 00:56:34 furrykids_2000 Changes to biography and events
Sources

Dee Akard Welborn

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2016 23:59:28 furrykids_2000 Changes to biography and events
Sources

The Paris News, Sun. Aug. 26, 1956, Pg. 5

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2016 23:38:34 furrykids_2000 Changes to service number
Sources

Application for military grave marker

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2016 23:37:33 furrykids_2000 Changes to middlename, nickname and events
Sources

Texas Birth Certificate; application for military grave marker; Waco News Tribune articles; National Archive records

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2016 23:37:33 furrykids_2000 Changes to events
Sources

Texas Birth Certificate; application for military grave marker; Waco News Tribune articles; National Archive records

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:22:44 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

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