The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC Merlyn B. Richards, who died in the service of his country on March 3rd, 1945 in Luzon. The cause of death was listed as KIA. At the time of his death Merlyn was 25 years of age. He was from Brazoria County, Texas.
The decorations earned by PFC Merlyn B. Richards include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Merlyn is buried i the Manila, PI American Cemetery, Plot D, Row 10, Grave 140
(Letter to Merlyn's Wife from CO)
Mrs Beryl Alisa Richards 17 March 1945
14 Woodhall Road
Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand
My Dear Mrs Richards
I am writing to express my sincere sympathies on the death of your husband, Private First Class Merlyn B Richards, who was killed in action in the vicinity of Puncan, Luzon, P.I. on 3 March 1945. There is little I can say to assuage your sorrow, but you would undoubtedly like to know some of the circumstances surrounding his death.
Our regiment had captured and occupied the Japanese held town of Puncan on the 2nd of March 1945. On the 3rd of March patrols were sent out from the company to the north of the town to determine the strength of the enemy in that area. About 800 yards north of our lines the patrol, of which Merlyn was a member, encountered enemy artillery fire. The leading scout of the patrol was hit, and the rest of the patrol was forced to withdraw. Merlyn went out with the aid men in an attempt to recover the body of the man who had been hit. While bending over his fallen comrade Merlyn was struck by enemy artillery fire and died a short while after being wounded. You can well be proud of your husband and his courage in the time of need. His comrades still remember and speak highly of him and his ideals.
Merlyn was buried with full military honors in the United States Armed Forces Cemetery at Santa Barbara, Pangasinan Province, Luzon, P.I. The cemetery has been landscaped and rows of palm trees enhance its solemn beauty. It is well cared for by the daily attention of several caretakers and shall be so long as an American soldier is buried there.
Your husband will be well remembered by all the men and officers of the company. We all miss the fine friend we had and all wish to express their deep regrets at the passing of one of our comrades and join in expressing to you our sentiments.
James M Holt
1st Lt., 35th Infantry, Commanding