Richard Ralph Akard

Military

Object Number - UPL 20144 - Scan provided by Dee Akard Welborn

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).

Connections

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Units served with

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Diane III
  • Unit: 65th Fighter Wing 361st Fighter Group 376th Fighter Squadron 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Died

Vincennes, IN 47591, USA 1956-08-23 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.

Born

Paris, Lamar, TX, USA 1923-11-20 Born to Richard Ralph, Sr. & Frances Etta (nee Collom). He had two older brothers, Gary & Arnold.

Buried

Paris, TX, USA 1956-08-25 Funeral services were held at Fry and Gibbs Chapel & the burial took place in Meadow Brook Memorial Park. Paris, Lamar County Texas, USA.

Other

In the News

Paris, TX, USA 1945-10-07 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.

Other

In the News

1944-10-03 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.

Enlisted

Dallas, TX, USA 1945-10-30 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&tf=F&sc=24994,24995,24996,24998,24997,24993,24981,24983&bc=,sl,fd&txt_24995=akard&op_24995=0&nfo_24995=V,24,1900&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=2071298&rlst=169171,319700,7123240,7125237,879922,1171028,1544378,1572746,1652563,2071298)

Other

Discharged

1948-10-18 Discharged from Regular Army, Air Corps (see photo of application for information about his service in Texas National Guard_

Other

Assigned

Raydon, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7, UK 1944-04-11 - 1944-06-17 Assigned to 352FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF.

Other

Transferred

Boxted, Colchester, Essex, UK 1944-06-17 - 1944-11-13 Transferred to 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Other

End Tour Duty (ETD)

England, UK 1944-11-13 Ended Tour Duty (ETD)

Other

Crashed

Americus, GA, USA 1943-05-29 Landing Accident Ground Loop Americus, Georgia Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Richard R Akard, 29-May-43. PT-17 42-16356 - 56 AFFTD

Other

Crashed

Boxted, Colchester, Essex, UK 1944-06-29 Taxiing Accident Boxted/Sta 150 Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt Richard R Akard, Jr 29-Jun-44. P-47D 42-75528 - 5ERS 65FW 8AF.

Revisions

Date26 Jan 2016 15:55:52
Contributorfurrykids_2000
Sources

Enlistment records in National Archives; application for military grave marker

Date26 Jan 2016 15:36:21
Contributorfurrykids_2000
Sources

Application for military grave marker

Date24 Jan 2016 00:56:34
Contributorfurrykids_2000
Sources

Dee Akard Welborn

Date23 Jan 2016 23:59:28
Contributorfurrykids_2000
Sources

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

Date23 Jan 2016 23:38:34
Contributorfurrykids_2000
Sources

Application for military grave marker

Date23 Jan 2016 23:37:33
Contributorfurrykids_2000
Sources

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

Date23 Jan 2016 23:37:33
Contributorfurrykids_2000
Sources

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

Date27 Sep 2014 18:22:44
ContributorAAM
Sources

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Richard Ralph Akard: Gallery (8 items)