Richard M. Throckmorton was born on August 17, 1921 in Central City, NE to parents in the restaurant and bakery business who also farmed for a few years. While growing up, he lived in a number of different towns in Nebraska and Iowa, graduating from high school in Tabor, IA, and finished his college training at Iowa State University, Ames, IA, following the war.
He mobilized with the Iowa National Guard in Red Oak, IA on February 10, 1941 and served in the famous 34th Infantry Division, starting with Company M, 168th Infantry and finished in the Intelligence Section of Headquarters Company. In January 1942 he was shipped to Europe for additional training including Commando Training in preparation for the invasion of North Africa. He was among the troops that went ashore at Algiers, North Africa. His unit was involved in three major battles in Tunisia, N.A., and he was captured by Rommel at Faid Pass on February 17, 1943.
He was flown to Palermo, Sicily and on to Capua, Italy, and was shipped by boxcars to Stalag VII-A, Mooseburg, Germany and then on to Stalag III-B, Frankfurt on the Oder. He was then sent to Arbeits Kommando US. #1, Spremberg, Germany for the better part of two years. On February 10, 1945 he was forced on what is called "The Black Bread March", marching nearly 500 miles across Germany. During the march he nearly died from malnutrition. He ended up in Stalag XI-A, Altengrabow, Germany from which the American Fifth Armored Division liberated him on Friday, April 13, 1945.
After returning to the States he was sent to Jefferson Barracks, MO where he received his discharge on August 3, 1945. When the National Guard reorganized in 1946, Richard re-enlisted for another four years and was immediately promoted to Master Sergeant. During his military service he earned and received the Bronze Star, Prisoner of War Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal, with three Bronze Stars and one Arrowhead, World War II Victory Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge.
On November 30, 1940 he married Aletha Jeanne Huitt, and they have four children, nineteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Their oldest son, Terry, graduated in 1965 from West Point and is retired from the Army. Their second son, Dick, Jr., was also in the Army. One grandson is a graduate from V.M.I. and is an officer in the Virginia National Guard, and another is in the Marine Reserves. Richard's work history includes five years with the Fuller Brush Co., eight years with the Goodyear Co., seven years with Firestone Co., three years with I.D.S. Investments, and 23 years with the Peerless Chain Co., Winona, MN. He was always in sales, where he excelled and which he truly loved.
Richard was elected and sworn in as National Commander, American Ex-Prisoners Of War at the 51st National Convention in Baton Rouge, LA on October 24, 1998. PNC Throckmorton passed away on January 24, 2007.