Yesterday we got the news that one of the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion GOYA birds passed away: Richard “Dick” Field.
Dick was born on august 20th 1924 in Liberty. He joined company B of the 551st parachute infantry battalion , went throught the tough basic training and was sent to Fort Robbe on november 23rd 1943 in the Panama canal.
On august 15th 1944 Dick and his buddies jumped out of a C-47 during operation Dragoon in Southern France and liberated Draguignian.
Dick is also participating in the liberation of Cannes and Nice. After that, the 551st was sent to the Maritime Alpes along the Italina-French border.
In november, the 551st PIB is assigned to the 82nd airnorne division and is sent to Laon.
On december 16th 1944 the battle of the bulge started and the men of the 551st are sent to Werbomont. Form here, the battalion is forced to lead many attacks.
The battalion started with 825 men. When they liberated the hamlet of Rochelinval on january 7th 1945, only 115 men were left and killing almost everyone in company A.
The remaining men were sent to Juslenville to recover. From there, the men were spread over the 82nd Airborne divison. Dick Field ended up in the 505th and fought his way through Germany.
Dick field went back to his wife in december 1945 and worked in the automobile sales till 1990.
Dick Field visited both France and the Belgium Ardennes many times He made a lot of friends and attened many ceremonies.
We had the honor to meet this great man a couple of times, always accompanied by his daughter Ginni Field.
On april 30th, there was a ceremony for Dick Field, Jim Welsh and Pat Casanova in Rochelinval organised by the C-47 club.
May he rest in peace.