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Son Presents American Legion Medal for Combat Wounded to Father
by M.C. Kauffman


June 15, 2005

Ketchikan, Alaska - At first glance, 81-year old Richard Marmon wouldn't fit today's typecast of a hero. However there is something special that sets Marmon off and confirms that he in fact fills a hero's shoes.

jpg Jim Marmon & Richard Marmon

American Legion Post #3 First Vice Commander Jim Marmon presents his father Richard Marmon with the official medal for combat wounded given by the American Legion
Photo by Dick Kauffman

The story began when Marmon joined the Army Air Corp approximately 62 years ago. Marmon, born and raised on the Laguna Indian Reservation, entered the Army Air Corp. when he was 18-years old.

Marmon's son Jim Marmon of Ketchikan said his dad flew his first mission when he was 19-years old on a "B-17 Flying Fortress". The oldest person on Marmon's crew was the engineer/Radio Operator who was 23 - thus the name of the plane,"Baby Buggy".

Richard Marmon was the left waist gunner on a "B-17 Flying Fortress" and had a total of fifteen official missions over Germany during WWII - he flew seventeen missions but two were aborted due to plane malfunctions.

On his fifteenth mission, Marmon was wounded over Hamburg Germany and the plane was severely damaged and crashed landed back in England. A number of other crew members were also wounded that day.

Son Jim Marmon said, "There were 289 confirmed hits on the aircraft, they lost two of the four engines and all of their hydraulics." He said, "Dad said they were very lucky to make it back that day. June 6, 1944 was a day my father will never forget."

As a surprise for his father during his stop in Ketchikan Saturday morning, Jim Marmon had a special event planned at the American Legion Post #3 - the presentation of the official medal for combat wounded given by the American Legion.

Being the First Vice Commander, Post 3 Ketchikan, Jim Marmon said, "I wanted to present dad with the official medal for combat wounded given by the American Legion. Dad is now an official member of Post 3, Ketchikan."

First Vice Commander Marmon said, "It gave me great pleasure to present these awards on behalf of Post 3, Ketchikan and the American Legion."

This was Richard Marmon's second cruise to Alaska. His son Jim Marmon has lived in Ketchikan for ten years. He also has other family members living in Ketchikan - a niece, Gigi Pilcher.



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