State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) honors local veteran Corporal Joseph R. Richard as February’s “Veteran of the Month.” Richard, an East Granby resident, served in World War II from 1942-1945.
“Corporal Richard is a decorated Marine who served in some of the most challenging battles of World War II,” said Senator Witkos. “He survived multiple injuries and traumatic close calls. Today we recognize his incredible bravery and honor his service.”
Corporal Richard was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and grew up in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood. He attended St. Ann’s French Catholic School and Hartford High School and worked in the defense plant at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Sworn-in the day before Thanksgiving 1942 in Springfield, Massachusetts, Richard was sent to Parris Island, South Carolina for Boot Camp and completed almost a full year of training at Camp Pendleton, California before being called to combat. He served as a machine gunner in Company E, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.
In 1944 Richard left the U.S. for the South Pacific. He fought in the Battle of Roi-Namur and was injured in Saipan. After recovering at Pearl Harbor, Richard was back on his feet and sent to Iwo Jima. After a brutal fight he survived, but was injured by shrapnel.
Corporal Richard was discharged from the US Marine Corps in October 1945 in Bainbridge, Maryland and went back home to Hartford. Richard and his wife Lorraine married in 1949 and moved to East Granby in 1968. After 42 years of working for Pratt & Whitney, Richard retired in 1983. The couple has two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.
Corporal Richard is also a recipient of the Purple Heart, CT Veterans Wartime Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Medal and the Marine Rifle Sharpshooter Medal.
Corporal Richard’s full story and a video interview can be found on senatorwitkos.com and at the following direct link: http://ctsenaterepublicans.com/2014/01/veteran-of-the-month-joe-richard/ . Senator Witkos’ “Veteran of the Month” program features the stories of local veterans each month through text and video. Each story highlights the veteran’s unique experiences and acts of service.
To nominate a local veteran to be a “Veteran of the Month” please contact Katie Kenneally at Katie.Kenneally@cga.ct.gov or (860)240-8862.