Richard Grow - 1st Lieutenant

Rank: 1st Lieutenant
Date Of Death: Dec 23, 1943
War / Conflict: World War II
Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa
Gold Star Hall - Wall Location: West Wall (by Entrance Door)


Year at ISU: 1942

Richard graduated from Iowa City High School in 1938, and had attended Iowa State College for three years before joining the Army Air Corps in March, 1942. He earned his wings and commission at Moore Field, Texas, on November 10, 1942.

He went missing in action over the Netherlands on December 23, 1943 while defending a straggling B-24 Liberator Bomber. According to an 8th Air Force dispatch, he and his fellow pilot had become separated during a dogfight with a number of Nazi fighters attacking the bomber.

"Although outnumbered nine to one, they dove into the midst of the foe, shot down one of the ME-210s and chased away the others. Just three weeks previously, Lieutenant Grow shared in the destruction of a ME-410, Germany's newest fighter-bomer."

Lieutenant Grow was piloting a P-47 thunderbolt and had completed at least 20 sorties against the enemy, serving as an escort for heavy bombers. He had shot down that twin-engine ME-410 with his wingman with his wingman, First Lieutenant Virgil K. Meroney. He was 23 years old.

In 1945, the War Department declared him to be killed in action. His awards and citations include the Air Medal for 10 operation sorties over enemy held territory and the Bronze Star for bravery.

Robert was married to Dorothy Colli. He had a son, Terry Wayne Grow, who was six months old at the time of his death, whom had never seen.