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Staff Sergeant Richard Arnold Killgore
U. S. Army Air Forces
Ser. #: 18191018

November 16, 1921 - January 29, 1944
Palacios Cemetery
Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas

Gold Star Mother
Eunice Esten Wright Killgore

Palacios High School Memorial


[Original 615th Bomb Squadron
patch had a light green background.]

Staff Sergeant Richard Arnold Killgore, U.S. Army Air Forces [November 16, 1921-January 29, 1944] was born to Richard E. Killgore [August 10, 1899 - September 16, 1955] and Eunice Esten (Wright) Killgore [April 6, 1900 - April 29, 1981] at Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas. He attended Palacios schools. At the time of his  death he was assigned to 401st Bombardment Group, 615th Bomb Squadron, 8th Air Force stationed at RAF Deenethorpe near Corby, Northamptonshire, England. On January 29, 1944 his squadron departed on a bombing  mission to Frankfurt, Germany. He was serving as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 (tail # 42-40067).  As the group  approached Frankfurt they were attacked by German fighter aircraft. Richard
s aircraft and two others were attacked by 7 or 8 fighters; the two other aircraft exploded in mid-air and Richards was seen going down and was thought to have also exploded, it did not - of the ten man crew nine were able to bail out before it crashed.  It could not be explained why Richard went down with the aircraft when it crashed at Eckweiler, district of Kreuzneich. He was buried at the Eckweiler Cemetery, then after the cessation of hostilities his remains were transferred to the St. Avold American Cemetery* in France. Upon his wifes request his remains were repatriated to the United States in 1949 and were buried in a joint burial service with his brother Albert** at the Palacios Cemetery.  He was survived by his wife Elsie and son Charles Richard; his parents Richard and Eunice; brother: Eugene E. Killgore serving in the U.S. Navy and his sister Mrs. Frances Vest.


*Today it is called the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial and it is located approximately 3/4 miles from St. Avold.


**Simmen Albert Killgore died of injuries he received in an aircraft accident in England on September 15, 1944.

With Our Men In The Service

Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Killgore have received a letter from their son, Richard A. Killgore, stating he has fully recovered from a spell of pneumonia, also that while he was ill he received his promotion to first class private. Pfc. Killgore is in training at Buckley Field, Colo., and his wife recently went to Denver and is located near the field.     Palacios Beacon

RAF Deenethorpe near Corby, Northamptonshire, England


Mrs. Richard A. Killgore has received word from the War Department officially recording death of her husband, S/Sgt. Richard A. Killgore, missing in action since January 1944, as the following letter states:

Dear Mrs. Killgore:

Since your husband, Staff Sergeant Richard A. Killgore, 18,191,018, Air Corps, was reported missing in action 29 January 1944, the War Department has entertained the hope that he survived and that information would be received dispelling the uncertainty surrounding his absence. However, as in many cases, the conditions of warfare deny us such information.

Public Law 490, 77th Congress, as amended, provides for a review and determination of the status of each person who has been missing in action for twelve months. Accordingly, your husband’s case was reviewed and he was continued in the status of missing in action as of 30 January 1945. The law further provides that a subsequent review shall be made whenever warranted. Upon such subsequent review the making of a finding of death is authorized.

All available records and reports concerning the absence of your husband have been carefully investigated and are deemed to warrant a subsequent review of his case. Information in the hands of the War Department indicates that your husband was a crew member of a B-17 (Flying Fortress) bomber which was attacked and shot down by enemy aircraft while on a mission to Frankfurt, Germany.

Since no information has been received which would support a presumption of his continued survival the War Department must now terminate your husband’s absence by a presumptive finding of death. Accordingly, an official finding of death has been recorded. The finding does not establish an actual or probable date of death; however, as required by law, it includes a presumptive date of death for the purpose of termination of pay and allowances, settlement of accounts and payment of death gratuities. In the case of your husband this date has been set as 1 October 1945.

I regret the necessity for this message but trust that the ending of a long period of uncertainty may give at least some small measure of consolation. An appraisal of the sacrifice made by your husband in the service of his country compels in us feelings of humility and respect. May Providence grant a measure of relief from the anguish and anxiety you have experienced during these many months.                   

Sincerely yours, Edward F. Witsell, Major General

Acting the Adjutant General of the Army

Mrs. Killgore has also received word that her husband was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.                                          

Palacios Beacon
, November 8, 1945

To Hold Memorial Services Sunday For R. A. Killgore
Grave of Staff Sergeant Reported Found in Germany

Memorial services will b held for Staff Sergeant Richard A. Killgore Sunday, April 21, in the First Baptist Church at 4 p.m. Rev. L. W. Crouch will officiate, assisted by Rev. J. W. Rives and the public is invited to attend the service.

Staff Sergeant Killgore was reported missing January 29, 1944, after making a flight over Germany, and in November was officially declared killed in action.

A few weeks ago when his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Killgore, received a letter from the War Department stating that the official German report indicated that the remains of Staff Sergeant Richard A. Killgore were interred in the cemetery of Eckweiler in the district of Kreuzneich, Germany, and when the report is verified by the American Graves Registration Command and remains removed to an established American Cemetery they will be advised.

Palacios Beacon, April, 1945?

Body of Hero Enroute Home For Re-Burial
Relatives Informed Body of Sgt. R. Kilgore Shipped

Mrs. Elsie Kilgore has been informed by the War Department that the body of her husband, S/Sgt. Richard A. Kilgore, is now enroute to the United States and will probably be here within the next six weeks.

S/Sgt. Kilgore, who was killed in Germany in January 1944, is a son of Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Kilgore who were informed some months ago that the body of their son, Lt. S. A. Kilgore, had arrived at Fort Worth, where it is being held, by their request, until his brother’s body is here. When double re-burial services will be held with the local VFW Post in charge.

The Palacios Beacon, Thursday, November 18, 1948


Reburial rites for S-Sgt. Richard Arnold Killgore and 2nd Lt. Simeon Albert Killgore, brothers of Palacios, will be held in Palacios, Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The services will be held from the First Baptist Church in Palacios with the Rev. L. W. Couch and the Rev. Rayford Harris officiating.

Interment will be in Palacios Cemetery with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in charge of the services.

S-Sgt. Richard Arnold Killgore who lost his life on a bombing mission to Frankfurt, Germany, January 29, 1944, was 23 years of age. He joined the U.S. Air Corps, Nov. 2, 1942. During his period of training he was stationed at Ellington Field, Buckley Field, Colo.; Rapid City, S.D., Ephrata, Wash.; Redmond, Ore.; and Grand Island, Neb. He was sent overseas to England where he was a Waist gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, making bombing raids over Europe. The plane was shot down January 29, 1944, and for 19 months he was listed as missing. His body was first laid to rest in Germany and later transferred to the American Military Cemetery in St. Avold, France. He was awarded the Purple Heart. He was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Killgore, his wife, Elsie and one son, Charles Richard. Also surviving were one brother, Eugene E. of the U. S. Navy, a sister, Mrs. Frances Vest of Grand Prairie.

Second Lieutenant Simeon Albert Killgore lost his life due to an aircraft accident, the effects from which he died in a hospital in England, September 15, 1944. He was 24 years of age. He is survived by his parents, a sister, Frances, and a brother, Eugene.

A graduate from the Palacios schools in 1939, he was an outstanding athlete in football and track especially. He was employed at Camp Hulen where he volunteered for the air corps in 1941. Since the United States was then not in active war, he transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force and received his wings in Canada and became a flight officer. In the meantime America entered the war and he transferred into the U. S. Air Force. Within a short time he received his commission as Second Lieutenant and served with the 31st Air Transport Group, attached to the 326th Ferry Squadron.              

Matagorda County Tribune
, January 13, 1949


Funeral services for Eunice E. Killgore, 81, of Dallas, were held May 2 at the Palacios Funeral Home with the Rev. J. R. Gwin officiating. Interment was in Palacios Cemetery.

Mrs. Killgore died April 29 in Dallas. Born in Alabama on April 6, 1900, she had lived 53 years in Palacios and the last three in Dallas.

She is survived by one daughter, Francis Sutterfield of Dallas; three sisters, Bessie Ross of Palacios, Leona Killgore of Palacios, and Bertha Nelson of Lafayette, La.; numerous nieces and nephews, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Palacios Beacon, Thursday, May 6, 1981

Richard E. Killgore Dies September 16,
Final Rites Held

Funeral services were held for Mr. Richard E. Killgore, 56, at the First Baptist Church Wednesday, September 21, with Rev. Rayford Harris officiating.

Mr. Killgore, who died suddenly Friday, September 16, was a long time resident of Palacios. He was born in Alabama August 10, 1899.

He was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Killgore.

Mr. Killgore is survived by his widow, Mrs. Eunice Killgore, one daughter, Mrs. Joe E. Vest, Dallas, and one son, Eugene, who is stationed with the navy at Pearl Harbor.

Other survivors include three sisters, Mrs. Viola Williams, Mrs. Ozie Knight and Mrs. Alice Parish, all of Alabama, and four brothers, W. V. Killgore, Palacios, A. B. Killgore, of Florida, Sims Killgore and W. I. Killgore, both of Alabama.

Burial was in Palacios Cemetery.

Palacios Beacon, Thursday, September 22, 1955


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Jan. 30, 2006
Jun. 26, 2011