RICHARD LOUIS HANCOCK
THE BRAVEST MAN I KNOW
By Rich Hancock
"...he fought valiantly in a supreme hour of his country's need. His memory will live in the grateful heart of our nation."
"My dear Mrs. Hancock:
With deep regret I have learned that your husband, Second Lieutenant Richard Louis Hancock, previously reported missing on January 16, 1944, died in action on that date in the Southwest Pacific Area. Information has reached me that during his cadetship, which culminated in graduation at Williams Field, Lieutenant Hancock made good use of the military training he received prior to his appointment. His loyalty to our cause, and by devoting himself to duty and successful completion of assignments, he became a valuable officer and pilot in his group. He was in every respect a credit to the Service, and I feel that his passing represents a genuine loss to this organization. I am aware that words are inadequate at a time of grief, but I hope the memory that your husband made the supreme sacrifice for his Country will afford you some measure of consolation. I offer my heartfelt sympathy to you and other members of the family.
General, U.S. Army
Commanding General, Army Air Forces"
"...I have the honor to inform you that, by direction of the President, the Air Medal has been posthumously awarded to ...Second Lieutenan Richard L. Hancock, Air Corps. The citation is as follows: Air Medal 'For meritorious achievement while participating in sustained operational flight missions in the Southwest Pacific Area from 21 November 1943 to 27 December 1943, during which hostile contact was
probable and expected. these operations included escorting bombers and transport aircraft, interception and attack missions, and patrol and reconnissance flights. In the course of these operations, straffing and bombing attacks were made from dangerously low altitudes, destroying and damaging enemy installations and equipment. Throughout these flights outstanding courage, ability and devotion to duty were demonstrated.'
The Adjutant General."
"...It has been a source of inspiration to me to learn of your husband's exceptionally meritorious achievements in action against the enemy which have merited this award. His courage, determination and devotion to duty must be a source of comfort and pride to you at this time..."
W. E. SHEDD
Major General, U.S. Army
"My dear Mrs. Hancock:
You will shortly receive the Purple Heart medal, which has been posthumously awarded by direction of the President to your husband, Second Lieutenant Richard L. Hancock, Air Corps. It is sent as a tangible expression of this country's gratitude for his gallantry and devotion. It is sent to you, as well, with my deepest personal sympathy for your bereavement. The loss of a loved one is beyond man's repairing, and the medal is of slight value; not so, however, the message it
carries. We are all comrades in arms in this battle for our country, and those who have gone are not, and never will be, forgotten by those of us who remain. I hope you will accept the medal in evidence of such remembrance.
The Secretary Of War
The medals, along with wonderful pictures of my Dad and family, adorn my living room in my home. I am forever indebted to this wonderful man who at the age of 21 gave his life in defense of our Country. He is the bravest man I know. "Greater love has no one than this, than he lay down his life for his friends." My father has given me the supreme example of this wonderful Scripture. - Richard ("Rich") Hancock - his son.