Date of birth: Sept. 10, 1925
Dates of service: March 1945 to December 1946
Hometown: St. Vrain
Theater and location of service: Philippines, Luzon and Japan
Rank: Private First Class
Unit: 120th Artillery Battalion, 8th Army
Lives in: Texico
Veterans organizations: American Legion
On a ship entering the Pacific during World War II, the men were kept below for a week. The typhoon that followed the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, rocked their ship, Richardson recalled. Two sailors and two soldiers were chosen to go on deck. While the sailors worked to repair the ship in the high winds, the soldiers served as their anchors — tied to them with rope and braced against the ship to keep them from going overboard.
Richardson toured Japan with an inventory team and found himself appreciating the people.
“Most of the civilians were so tired of the war; they were afraid of us, we had to win their confidence,” he said.
Although trained for artillery, Richardson felt lucky that he wasn’t sent into combat. “I was just a 19-year-old kid that hadn’t been out in the world a whole lot. I never looked forward to killing anybody,” he said.
Arriving home after service, he rode the train, staying on when it stopped in St. Vrain. Although he wanted to see his parents, he was anxious to see his girl who lived in Clovis.
“(My parents) weren’t going to grab me and kiss me (like she would),” he said. Borrowing a truck, he drove to her house. “She met me halfway out to the vehicle,” he remembered.
Reflecting on the war, Richardson said, “I had friends that gave their lives. They did their job and I tried to do my job. I was lucky — I know I was lucky.”
Veterans’ profiles are a weekly feature. To submit a profile, contact CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson at 763-6991 or by e-mail at: