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Richter, Lt. Urban 1916-1945


Posted By: Linda Ziemann, volunteer (email)
Date: 10/29/2015 at 14:23:04


Lt. Urban Richter, 28, pilot of a B-29, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Richter, farmers two miles southeast of Wesley, is reported missing in action in the Asiatic war theater, according to official notice received by his parents, Saturday.

Graduate of the Wesley high school, he worked for Douglas Aircraft, Santa Monica, Calif., enlisted from there Jan. 2, 1941, and was sent to Ft. Ord. After Pearl Harbor, he transferred to San Luis Obispo, and on March 2, 1944, piloted his plane, with crew, from Miami to a new base in India.

The plane was the first one to land at that base and its crew, with natives, worked six weeks finishing a field before other planes were sent there.

Urban has a sister, Lt. Ruth Helen Richter, in the air force nursing service now awaiting overseas orders. Brothers and other sisters are: Jack, farmer near Wesley; Edward and Francis, at home; Mrs. Neil Garry and Anna, Philadelphia; Mrs. Hedwig Dusold, Tacoma; Mrs. Edward Otis, Wesley.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, January 16, 1945

Story of a Wesley Youth Whose Plane Fell at Sea

Wesley, Apr. 24óMr. and Mrs. John Richter, whose son, Lt. Urban Richter was reported missing in action Jan. 6, later received government official information that his plane, with others, made their target at Omura, city in Japan, and were 40 miles on the return trip when his ship went down.

A week or so ago the Richters received a letter from a member of a crew of one of the accompanying ships now home on furlough. Two engines on the plane which Urban piloted, the writer said, were knocked out, and the plane therefore lost altitude. After it got below clouds accompanying planes could no longer see it, but they still had two-way radio conversation with member of the crew.

The men were cool and collected, and said they thought they would be able to make a safe landing in the water, and in touch by radio all of the time, they later reported they had landed safely in the Yellow Sea.

It was first reported in the government message that the men had parachuted, but this was error, because the parachutes were all found in the plane. It was not yet known whether the crew were taken prisoners by the Japs, or whether they got away in their rubber boats.

The lad who wrote the Richters said that after the planes had made their target, they were attacked by 80 to 100 Jap fighters, and it was in this melee that Urbanís plane went down.

Lieutenant Richter has a sister, Lt. Ruth Richter, in service as an Army nurse at the McCloskey General Hospital, Temple, Tex. Urban was graduated from the Wesley high school, and had been in service since January 1941, overseas since March 1944. He was unmarried. The parents live on a farm two miles east of Wesley.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, April 24, 1945

Memorial Services Monday

Memorial services for Lieutenant Richter were held at 9:30 a.m. this week Monday at St. Josephs Catholic Church, Wesley, the Rev. Fr. L. N. Klein reading the mass. Members of the Wesley Legion post attended the rites in a body, and present also were 20 discharged veterans, in uniform, of World War II. A 21-gun salute was fired and Lawrence Youngwirth, veteran of the last war, presented Mrs. Richter with a flag.

Urban was born August 10, 1916, on a farm southeast of Wesley, was graduated from the Wesley high school in 1934, and for a time remained at home on the farm. Later he was employed at a Central Sales printing shop at Mason City, and from there went to California, where he attended a Curtis-Wright technical school at Glendale.

Thoroughly Trained.
Following graduation at this school the young man was employed for Douglas Aircraft at Santa Monica till he went into service Jan. 23, 1941, at Camp Ord, where he was in the infantry 13 months.

Ordered then to Nashville, a re-assignment center. Urban joined the Army Air Corps,, and was sent to Maxwell Field, Ala., for pre-flight training. Leaving there he was trained successfully at Camden, S.C., Sumpter, S.C., and finally at Seymour, Ind., where he was graduated as second lieutenant July 28, 1943, and received his wings.

Additional training at Lockbourne, O., was for B-17 flying and at Victoria, Kans., Oct. 18, 1943, the youth was commissioned first lieutenant and began B-29 training.

Left U. S. in March, 1944.
On March 13, 1944, Urban left for Indo-China on a B-29, non-stop flight. The crew, in which he was chief pilot, was the first sent to that area and it established the first air base there.

Mr. and Mrs. Richter do not know how many missions Urban had completed. The flights were so long, the parents never learned whether they were figured by number of trips or by hours. They do know, however, that Urban was nearing completion of his required missions, for he had written that he expected to be home by March, 1945.

Surviving the young soldier besides the parents are seven brothers and sisters: John Jr. on a farm near Wesley; Edward, who works for John Jr.; Frank, at home; Mrs. Neil Gary, Philadelphia; Mrs. Kenneth Rudstrom, Minneapolis; Mrs. Edna Otis, Wesley; Mrs. Edward Dusold, formerly of Tacoma, but now at the parental home; and Ann, also at home. There are no surviving grandparents.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, January 17, 1946
Date of Birth: 10 Aug 1916
MIA/Date of Death: 06 Jan 1945
Declared Officially Dead: 07 Jan 1946
Monument placed: St. Joseph's Cemetery, Wesley, IA


Kossuth Obituaries maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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