Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Saying a Thank You to Lt. Richard Fassl on Memorial Day-- Part 1

From the May 27, 2019, Chicago Sun-Times  "Why I will say 'thank you' to Lt. Richard Fassl on Memorial Day" by William Dodd Brown.

"It was going to be a routine mission, but something went terribly wrong.

"On Feb. 3, 1944, shortly after takeoff, the B-24 lost an engine and, returning to base, crash-landed at Hardwick Airfield in England.  Lt. Richard Fassl and eight other crew members were killed.

"There was nothing to be done except to collect the dead, say a few prayers and send a telegram: 'The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your son...'

"Richard Fassl was born in Austria.  Like so many others, past and present, he and his family immigrated to Chicago in the 1920s, hoping to find a better future.  His father, Ludwig, worked as a janitor.

"Growing up, Richard graduated from Lane Tech High School and attended the Illinois Institute of Technology for a year.  By 1942, he had a steady job with ComEd.  Like just about every other young guy in Chicago, he'd get together with some buddies on a Wednesday or Thursday night.  They'd go out bowling, have a few beers, share a few jokes.  Someday, he'd get married, have kids, and start saving for a house.

"But, the war came along.  The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor."


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