Richard “Dick” Prokop

Editor’s note: Today’s profile ends a three-month series honoring area World War II veteran.

Richard “Dick” Prokop
Date of birth: May 1, 1926
Dates of service: 1942 to 1967
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Theater and location of service: Philippines
Branch: Navy and Air Force
Rank: Technical sergeant
Unit and specialty: Landing Ship for Tanks, gunner and cook
Lives in: Clovis

In his words: Joining the service at 16, Dick Prokop said he “kind of fibbed” about his age.

“I said, ‘Hey, I want to go in the service’ and away I went.”

He was determined to go despite his parent’s protest. “Being a punk kid. You think you own the world.

“I enjoyed it. I stayed and finished the war — you grow up fast.”

Dropped off in California with $1,100 in pay strapped to his legs, he hitchhiked home.

“I rode in trucks and stuff, people felt sorry for me.”

When he finally arrived at home, he gave all his money to his mother.

“They were glad to have all us all in one piece. Mother and dad were wonderful. I was glad to get home with that money. I gave it all to mom. … that was my momma.”

World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail:
sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com