Skip Navigation
Burl Grant Richmond

Raleigh Register

West Virginia Veterans Memorial

Remember...

Burl Grant Richmond
1917-1943

"Time will not dim the glory of their deeds."

General John J. Pershing

U.S. Army Private Burl Grant Richmond was born on January 3, 1917. His parents were William and Lillie Richmond, who lived in Summers County, West Virginia. Burl graduated from Richmond District High School. Although the 1940 Federal Census lists Burl as a farmer, it is probable he also worked at the Beckley Water Company shortly before his enlistment; the Raleigh Register article published on October 17, 1943, when reporting his death, mentioned that he was previously employed there, and a Beckley Water Company plant was built in 1941 just adjacent to the road he and his family lived on. (Source: Beckley Water Company RSS, Web, accessed 28 Apr. 2015.)

Due to his father’s widowhood and following remarriage, Burl had numerous siblings (including half-siblings). U.S. Federal Census documents from 1900 through 1940 list the following children in addition to Burl in the household at various times: Marie [Arena Marie], Roy, Ira, Charles, Arthur, Arnie, June (1940); Marie, Arnie, Roy, Maud, Ira, Charles, Arthur (1930); Terry, Perry, Arena, Arnie, Roy (1920); Viola, Jason, Zetta, Lora, Ray, Terra, Sona, Perva (1910); and Gilbert, Milton, Viola, Lacy, Jason (1900). On August 8, 1943, the Raleigh Register published an article about Ray—who, at the time of publication, was a sergeant and an eight-year veteran in the U.S. Army—documenting his experiences in being with the first American troops to invade North Africa, as well as reporting him wounded in action and consequently obtaining the Order of the Purple Heart.

On September 14, 1942, Burl Richmond married Stella Faye Plumley in New, West Virginia. While it would seem that it involves an error of omission, the actual place name on the marriage certificate is “New.” Burl and Stella had a daughter, Nora Lee Richmond, born on January 30, 1943.

In an interview with Nora Richmond Williams, she stated that after her father’s death when she was seven months old, her mother Stella (despite being very young) never remarried and raised her on her own. While she never knew her father, she knew of two of Burl’s brothers who might have some information on the family life. Unfortunately, one brother was recently sent to a nursing home, and the other, as of the time this was written, was not able to be contacted.

Burl enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 27, 1942 in, Huntington, West Virginia. He was assigned to the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.
patch

3rd Infantry Division Patch

telegram

Telegram announcing Burl Richmond’s death. Courtesy Nora Richmond Williams

Burl’s unit left the United States in 1942. His tour of duty with the 3rd Infantry Division would take him to Africa and Sicily. His unit’s role was actually quite noteworthy. It was the only American Division to fight the Nazis on all fronts, and it also partook in Operation Torch—a North African invasion on November 8, 1942—in which they captured half of French Morocco. After that, on July 10, 1943, they helped carry out an assault on Sicily (Operation Husky), capturing Messina and pushing their way further into Italy. This effectively ended the Sicilian campaign, and threw the fascist regime under Benito Mussolini into disrepair, toppling him from power (Source: A&E Television Networks, History.com, 2009, “Invasion of Sicily,” Web, accessed 28 Apr. 2015.)

Burl Richmond died on August 10, 1943. It is unclear what he or his unit might have been doing at the time of his death. There is not much documented about the whereabouts of the 7th Infantry Regiment in the short period between the July invasion and his death in August. He was laid to rest in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy, and remains there to this day. According to a Find A Grave memorial, Stella Richmond passed away herself on May 19, 1995.
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery

Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy. Courtesy American Battle Monuments Commission

Article prepared by Abbey Parmer, George Washington High School, Advanced Placement U.S. History
May 2015

Honor...

Burl Grant Richmond

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.


Veterans Memorial Database

West Virginia Veterans Memorial

West Virginia Archives and History

West Virginia Archives and History