Summary

Conflict Period:
Other Service 1
Birth:
23 Aug 1921 1
Death:
09 Apr 2008 1
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Personal Details

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Person:
Oliver Rickert 1
Gender: Male 1
Social Security Number: ***-**-1112 1
Birth:
23 Aug 1921 1
Death:
09 Apr 2008 1
Cause: Unknown 1

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Stories

Maj Oliver Albert Rickert

San Antonio, Texas

Oliver was born in Waterloo, Iowa, but grew up in Aurora, Illinois. During the depression, the family moved to Chickasha, Oklahoma, where he graduated from high school. In high school, he met, and later married Nadine Ramona Powell.
In October, 1942 he was drafted into the US Army Air Corps and was trained as a radio operator on a C-47 transport. In July, 1943 his squadron was deployed to New Guinea in the Pacific, air dropping supplies to the Australian soldiers, who were fighting the Japanese. During a drop, they would take ground fire from the Japanese; and, on their return to base they were harassed by Japanese fighters. When a Japanese held island was invaded by the US Army and Marines, initially the squadron would drop paratroops; and, just as soon as the Japanese air field was somewhat secured the squadron would begin flying in supplies and removing the wounded.
The squadron received both the United States Distinguished Unit Citation and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for its combat operations. While in the Pacific, according to his squadron records, Oliver flew 435 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross three times and the Air Medal four times.
After WWII, he re-enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was almost immediately sent to China. His squadron, an Air Advisory Group, was "teaching the Chinese (Nationalists) how to run an air force." The squadron was later transferred to the State Department to provide transportation for the Nationalist, Communists, and State Department personnel, negotiating a treaty between the Nationalist and Communists. After the Communists overran Shanghai, the squadron "blew up their planes on the runway and then made their way to the docks to catch ships to Hawaii."  (Departure from China and arrival in Hawaii confirmed by his military records)
After China, he was assigned to a troop carrier squadron at Bergstrom AFB in Texas. Within a week of the Soviets banning road and rail access to Berlin, his squadron was flying supplies to the German people in West Berlin.
In Korea, his squadron was flying C-119 transports (flying boxcars). Among other missions, the squadron air dropped supplies to the United Nations troops trapped behind the Chosin Reservoir (Dec 6th – Dec 11th in -37 degree weather). While in Korea, he flew another 55 combat missions and was awarded another Air Medal. He also received a field commission and was returned to the U.S.
He completed his military career with the Air Force's Security Service, headquartered at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, Texas. He retired as a Major and Director of Communications Security for the Air Force.

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