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Richard Edmund Richtman

359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division

Private, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:

Wisconsin

Died:

7/26/1944

Grave Location:

Plot C, Row 13, Grave 9

The 359th Infantry Regiment insignia.

Pvt. Richard “Dick” Edmund Richtman, was born on November 26, 1924, in Minneapolis, Minn. His father, James, had served in France in World War I.  At the age of 15, he saved an eight-year-old boy from drowning in Lake Michigan. The family knew nothing about the heroic act until his father read about it in the local newspaper. As his sister pointed out, Richtman did many, many "good deeds" but didn't talk about them. 

Pvt. Richard E. Richtman before the war.

After joining the Army, Richtman was assigned to F Company of the 2ndBattalion, 359thRegiment, 90thU.S. Infantry Division. In the early morning of June 7, 1944, the troop carrier U.S.S. Susan B. Anthony, while shipping men towards Utah Beach, hit a mine and sank within two hours. Miraculously, all passengers aboard the vessel-including the 2,317 men of the 90th, among them Richtman-were found and rescued by other ships. Though the men survived, they had lost all their equipment and weapons at sea. 

During weeks of a tough hedgerow fighting into the month of July, Richtman successively led his unit from Utah Beach through the expansion of the beachhead. On July 26, 1944, Richtman was killed in action near Périers. The 359thRegiment faced the little Sèves River, heavily defended by German soldiers of the Das Reich Division. Forty-five GIs of the 359thRegiment lost their lives in the attack, including Richtman. 

An LCVP carrying members of the 90th Infantry Division approaches Utah Beach on June 7, 1944.

Richtman is one of four 90thDivision GIs memorialized on a monument in Périers, Normandy.

Monument to the 90th Infantry Division portraying Pvt. Richtman, Pfc. Tangborn, Pvt. Speese and Staff Sgt. Micaloni in Periers, France.

Awards: Purple Heart

Richard Edmund Richtman is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot C, Row 13, Grave 9.