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|76k||Richard Yeater Stafford was born to Fred L. and Minnie G. (Burch) Stafford near Windsor, Mo., on 11 December 1916. He attended the University of Missouri, where he very active
socially and athletically as a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Graduating in 1938 with a business and public administration degree, he went to work for the Texas Oil Company in Houston,
Texas. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on 19 October 1940 and, on 20 February 1941, accepted an appointment as a second lieutenant at Quantico, Va. He remained at Quantico until 29 May,
when he was reassigned to San Diego. He saw duty at San Diego from 16 June 1941 to July 1942 and, on 11 April 1942, was promoted to first lieutenant. On 12 September 1942, when he was promoted
to captain, Stafford had been serving in the field for about a month as the commanding officer of Company C, First Battalion, Second Marines, Reinforced, engaged in the attack against enemy
Japanese positions on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.
Between 09 and 11 October, Capt. Stafford led his company of Marines on a forced march through the dense jungle and swamps of Guadalcanal and, upon arriving at his objective, immediately deployed his command and initiated an attack against unexpectedly strong enemy positions. After establishment of contact with the enemy, he personally directed the assault, leading his men with courage and determination until he was killed from ambush by a Japanese rifleman. His resolute fighting spirit in the face of hardships and dangers was an inspiration to the men of his command in the fulfillment of an important mission. For his " . . . conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Commanding Officer . . ." which constituted ". . . an inspiration to the men of his command in the fulfillment of an important mission," Capt. Stafford was posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal.
USS Stafford (DE 411) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
In 1954, a dormitory, Stafford Hall, was named after him at the University of Missouri.
(Photo from the University Archives, University of Missouri)
|433k||undated crew portrait, USS Stafford (DE 411)|
|219k||29 April 1944: Aft plan view of USS Stafford at Mare Island. She was in overhaul at the yard from 04 March until 30 April 1945.
(U.S. Navy Photo #DE-411-3078-45)
PNCM, USNR (ret.)
Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
|208k||29 April 1944: Forward plan view. ARD 11, with USS Dionne (DE 261) docked in her, can be seen in the background.
(U.S. Navy Photo #DE-411-3079-45)
|178k||23 June 1944: Boston Harbor - USS Stafford (DE 411) had gotten underway from the Boston Navy Yard at 1000 to compensate the radio direction finder and magnetic compasses. She had been in the yard from 13 to 22 June where she received a new CIC, additional officers quarters aft, and a camoflage paint job. At 1800, she passed the Boston Light Ship and set course for Norfolk, Va.||Nick Tiberio|
|74k||Stafford, after being hit by a Japanese kamikaze during the raid off Mindoro on 05 January 1945. Although she suffered major damage only two men were
killed in this attack.
(Photo taken from "United States Destroyer Operations in World War 11", by Theodore Roscoe
England, United Kingdom
|155k||circa 1945: at sea - USS Stafford (DE 411) underway. The ship is camouflaged in a weathered Measure 21 scheme.
(U.S. Navy Photo)
Port Angeles, Wash.
|467k||29 April 1945: Vallejo, Cal. - Stafford moored at the Mare Island Navy Yard.|
(U.S. Navy photo from the National Archives, courtesy of Chris Wright)
|74k||laidup, Mare Island, November 1967
(Photo © Richard Leonhardt)
|View the USS Stafford (DE 411) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|Stafford's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 19 Apr. 1944 – 20 Jun. 1945||Lcdr. Volney Hamilton Craig Jr., USNR (Comm. CO)|
|2.) 20 Jun. 1945 – 15 Feb. 1946||Lcdr. DeWitt McDougal Patterson, USN(USNA '39) (Savannah, Tenn.)|
|3.) 15 Feb. 1946 – 16 May 1946||Lt. Dwight W. Hubbard, USNR (Decomm. CO)|
Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has
been made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list
only a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
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