Russ Richardson

WW2 USAAF Radio Operator


During WW2 Russ served overseas in the European Theater of Operations from June 1942 until January 1945.  He was with the 31st Fighter Group where the pilots were trained to fly the British Spitfire.  Russ was in the Communications Section of Headquarters for the 31st in the 8th Air Force June '42 until October '42, moving to the 12th Air Force for the invasion of North Africa, landing in Arzu in November '42.  The 31st was active throughout the African Campaign in Algeria, French Morocco and Tunisia.  From Africa the 31st participated in the invasion of Sicily and later Italy under the 15th Air Force.  In Italy the 31st was eventually switched to the P-51 Mustangs.  Russ served as a Corporal and was classified as a Radio Operator-High Speed.  The 31st Fighter Group received much recognition during WW2.  The Group motto is "Return With Honor".. Russ thinks that they did just that.


North Africa on a sunny day..!

North Africa with some of the communications section..!

North Africa.. Hole in the Hill or "home away from home" in or near the Kasserine Pass.

Relaxing just outside the "Hole in the Hill" sleeping quarters.

Sicily, Radio operators tent position..!

Going in Style..!  Radio truck.  The transmitter was a BC610 (by Hallicrafters) with a single  250TH in the final and a pair of BC348 receivers.. one for the net and one for "Axis Salley"..!

Living it up on a pass in Rome..!  Handsome dude wasn't he..!
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Russ finally got to the amateur Radio "HamVention" Dayton in 2001 and was able to find a real BC-610-D. This was the transmitter in the communications truck picture.
Russ's Certificate of Service in WW2
Certificate of service received when Russ mustered out.  Note the awards and such.  Russ said he didn't know that he was "In Charge of Station".   Also note the "Radio Operator - High Speed"
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Russ was interviewed by the Atlanta History Center regarding his WW2 experience and Russ invited some of his friends over for lunch and to see the video.  Thanks to Marty, AA4RM, he and a friend brought a version of the transmitter and receiver that Russ used before he got the famous bread truck.  October 2004.


Also see:
Click here to hear a P-51 start up..!

This page last updated 10/29/2004