U.S. ARMY CHEMICAL CORPS
Hall of Fame
Private First Class Richard H. Griffin
Private First Class Richard H. Griffin was born in 1925 and grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. He was active in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Richard Griffin and his two brothers were chosen as the poster children for “The Junior Birdmen of America,” and were presented their wings by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Private First Class Griffin volunteered and received permission to join the U.S. Army at the age of seventeen. He was assigned to Bravo Company, 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion. The 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion was attached to General George S. Patton’s Seventh Army and saw action in the Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno and Southern France campaigns in support of the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Ranger Battalions among others. During a pivotal battle in the Riquewihr sector, his unit was crucial in securing the entire flank of the division and he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his bothers-in-arms and his country.
Private First Class Griffin died manning his weapon defending against a numerically superior enemy while surrounded and providing for the escape of his comrades. His actions that fateful day saved the lives of the Soldiers of 2nd Platoon and allowed them time to regroup, counterattack and retake their position, securing the flank once again.
For his noble sacrifice, Private First Class Griffin was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster. He also received the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the WWII Victory Medal.