In Memory of
U.S. Army Corporal Belle Fourche, South Dakota
Butte County

May 2, 1929 – December 12, 1950 (MIA)
                          December 31, 1953 (FOD)
Missing in Action, Presumed Dead in Korea

Milford “Jake” Dean Richards was born May 2, 1929, to Oma and Auzia (Miller) Richards in Stapleton, Nebraska. His siblings were Kenneth, Wylie, Charles, Wilson, Cecil, Nellie, Cora and Dora (twins), Cuba, Virgil, Bertha Mae, Marjorie, Robert, and Oma, Jr. Jake was educated through the tenth grade at Stapleton and then moved with his family to Montana where they stayed for three years. One brother, Charles, was living in Belle Fourche, and the family was there visiting while waiting for their home to be built in Nebraska. At this time, Jake enlisted in the Army. While he was in Belle Fourche, Jake worked as a carpenter with his brother, Charles. Jake is remembered as being a “happy-go-lucky kid who got along with everybody and was a good worker.”

Jake Richards entered the service from Belle Fourche and later became a corporal in Company K, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

Corporal Milford “Jake” Dean Richards went missing while fighting the enemy at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea on December 12, 1950. Corporal Richards was declared presumed dead on December 31, 1953, three years later. It was really hard on the family; Jake had been the last one living at home with his parents before he went into the service and had been a great help to them. Because his body was never recovered, Jake’s parents suffered from never knowing what happened to him or having a grave site to visit.

Corporal Richards was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

Two of Jake’s brothers, Virgil and Oma, Jr., also served their country in the Navy.

This entry is respectfully submitted by Hillary Stevens, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish South Dakota, August 1, 2004. Information for this entry was obtained from the ABMC website, and the South Dakota National Guard Museum. Additional information and profile approval were provided by Marjorie Richards, sister.