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back to USAAF Legends - 352nd FG Directory

(Major General, USAF Ret.)

Lt. Col. Luther Richmond, C.O. 486th FS/352nd FG enjoys a visit with an old friend, Lt. Col. William Chamberlain, C.O. 561st BS/388th BG. In the background are Richmond's P-51 Mustang and Chamberlain's B-17 Flying Fortress, April 1944 at Bodney.
(Soon after this photo was taken, Richmond's Mustang was hit by flak, shot down and he became a POW, April 15, 1944 and Chamberlain KIA on May 25, 1944.)

Last Wartime Rank:
Lt. Colonel

Combat Unit(s):
Assumed Command of the 21st FS, 352nd FG, replacing Bill Hennon who disappeared on a ferry flight. Farmingdale, NY, April 1943. C.O. 486th FS, 352nd FG when the 21st FS was redesignated the 486th FS in May 1943. Entire 352nd Ftr. Group deployed to Bodney England, ETO, July 1943. Led "fledgling" Groups on Ops. Break-in/Training Missions.

Theatre(s): ETO

Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit w/ 1 OLC
Distinguished Flying Cross w/ 1 OLC
Air Medal w/ 4 OLC
Purple Heart
POW Medal
Numerous Campaign medals
French Ils Grandiront Medal

December 13, 1915
Chicopee, Massachussetts

Springfield Technical High School

American International College
Springfield, Mass., 1933-38

Flight Training:
Randolph Field, TX, July 1938-Oct 1938
(PT-3 and PT-13)

Randolph Field, TX, Oct. 1938-Jan. 1939

Kelly Field, TX, Jan. 1939-May 1939
(P-12, BT-2, BT-6)

Graduated Class 39B
Commissioned 2nd Lt. AC Reserve

Initial Service:
Flight Instructor, Basic
Randolph Fld, TX
May 27, 1939 - Sept. 1941 (BT-9)

Director of Flying Training
Advanced Flying School
Foster Field, TX,
Sept. 1941 - January 1943 (AT-6)

Pilot Trainee
Spence Field, Moultrie, Georgia, RTU
Jan. 1943- April 1943 (P-39).

Victories: 1 Air
Fw-190, April 15th, 1944
Vechta Airfield, Germany.

Total Sorties: 100
Combat Missions: 67

Assigned Combat Aircraft:
P-47D-5-RE Thunderbolt
SN: 42-8412
"Sweetie", PZ*R.
Nude nose-art by Nilan Jones. Some pop-up blockers may prevent this photo from appearing.

P-51B-10-NA Mustang
SN: 43-7196, PZ*R.
Lost over Vechta, Germany on strafing mission April 15, 1944.
Some pop-up blockers may prevent this photo from appearing.

Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany, April 15th, 1944, through May 1945. Downed by flak while attacking anti-aircraft position. Burned in a flash cockpit fire, resulting from the flak hit, baled out at 200 ft. Subsequently captured and made POW by the Germans

- Nov. 45-July 46, Director of Training, Selfridge Field, MI (P-47s and B-26s)
- July 1946-July 1947, Commander 8th FG, Ashiya, Japan (P-51s)
- July 1947-June 1949, Deputy A-3 of HQ 5th AF, Nagoya, Japan
- July 1949-May 1953, Action Officer in War Plans, HQ USAF then Exec Officer to the DCS Plans and Ops, HQ USAF,
   Gen Thomas D. White
- May 1953-March 1955, Base Commander and C.O. 564th Air Defense Group, Otis AFB, first Jet Checkout in T-33 and
- March 1955-June 1958, Chief of the Air Force Section, MAAG Germany in the American Embassy, Bonn, Germany, mission
   to rebuild the German Luftwaffe
- June 1958-June 1959, Attended National War College, Washington
- June 1959-June 1963, HQ USAF, Deputy Director of Plans for War Plans
- June 1963-Oct 1963, Plans Officer, HQ SHAPE in Paris
- Oct. 63-March 65, Inspector General, HQ USAFE, Wiesbaden
- March 65-March 66, Deputy Commander 17th AF, Ramstein, Germany
- March 1966-March 1967, Commander 19th AF, Seymour Johnson AFB, Goldsboro, NC
- March 67-May 1970, Director of Plans, J-5, US Strike Command, MacDill AFB
- Retired 1970 as Major General

"During my career, my rank jumped around like a yo-yo. I was 1st Lt. Reserve in the Summer of 1941, got a regular commission and accepted it as a Regular 2nd Lt. Pay went back down too. In December 1945, Eisenhower promoted me to full Colonel. 6 months later, I was demoted to Lt. Col. "without prejudice" along with a couple of hundred others. Pay went down again. Then in 1949 I was again promoted to Colonel and this time it stuck."

Richmond qualified in over 78 types of aircraft during his career, beginning with the P-12 fighter and continuing through contemporary jets.

In response to a question about his P-51's highly polished silver finish, M/Gen. Richmond replied, "I wanted the Germans to see me, so maybe we could get together and sort things out. I figured they would see the silver color from a long way off."


Artwork by Rocky Gooch.
Many Thanks to Maj. General Luther H. Richmond, USAF Ret. and Marc L. Hamel
for their valued help and friendship in compiling information for this entry.