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Richard Wurst Air Force

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Richard Wurst - 1930 Views
honored by Michael Ford

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Assigned: 8th Air Force
Location of Service: Korean War
Gender: male
From City: Ottoville
From State: Ohio
Current City: Ottoville
Current State: Ohio
My War Stories
  1950 (Courtesy Michael Ford, Delphos Herald). Times of economic hardship may be among the most difficult the nation has been through but those who went to war agree there is none worse. In 1950, the call of duty often came in the form of the draft. Others volunteered. Just two years after the United States Air Force was created in 1948, Ottoville resident Richard Wurst enlisted in order to control his own destiny. “I figured it would be easier to go in the Air Force than to be drafted by the Army, so I enlisted for four years. My one brother was in the Army and the other was in the Navy,” he said. The 1946 OHS graduate received his basic training in Texas and technical training in Illinois so he could work on B-26 radios in Georgia. “From Georgia, I went to Korea in February 1952. I was stationed at Kunsan by the sea; the Riviera of Korea. It wasn’t much. We had a makeshift Air Force base for B-26s and F-80s. The bombers went on night runs and were successful most of the time,” he said. Assigned to the 8th Air Force, Wurst’s job kept him on base in the peninsula’s southwest portion, far from battle. “My life was pretty routine; I just did my job. They’d come back with their radios shot up and we’d replace them. The closest we came to anything exciting was one night when they tested the anti-aircraft guns but didn’t bother to mention it to anyone. They scared the crap out of us at 2 in the morning and everyone ran out and jumped in the fox holes. Other than that, there wasn’t much but they did have a canteen we could go to and drink beer,” he said. Wurst stayed on base and served Uncle Sam faithfully. While he was “in country,” the battles of Bunker Hill and Heartbreak Ridge took place, as did the largest single day air raid of the war, on the city of Pyongyang. Wurst returned to the U.S. in 1953 and married his wife, Deloris, who accompanied him to his next assignment on Long Island. They were there for a year-and-a-half. “Riverhead, N.Y., was about as big as Lima and is out on the end of Long Island. We were about seven miles from the beach and we enjoyed that,” he said. Wurst remembers his wife taking joy in being newly-married to an Airman. “The Air Force taught me to be neat. I had to use a ruler to get my name tag in just the right place on my jacket and that sort of thing. My wife made me help clean up at home; I had to pick up after her,” he joked. The couple raised three children back in Ottoville after Wurst was discharged in 1954. He worked in his father’s business, Ottoville Hatchery and Feed Mill, until it was sold in 1968 and he went to work for Fruehauf as a computer programer because of a correspondence course he took. He retired from the company in 1992.