Richard James Page (1913-1945)

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Richard James Page (1913-1945) aka Dick Page; Sergeant US Army, 312 Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, 3rd Division, Killed in Action, World War II (b. November 10, 1913, Westbrookville, Mamakating Township, Sullivan County, New York, 12785, USA - d. May 09, 1945, Mindanoa Island, Phillipines, World War II) Military Service Number 32505700.



World War IIEdit

He enlisted in the Army as a Private in 1942 at Fort Jay on Governor's Island in New York City. He listed his occupation as an automobile mechanic and said he had completed grammar school. His name is recorded at the National WWII Memorial in Washington, District of Columbia.


He was killed in action on May 09, 1945 on Mindanoa Island in the Phillipines. His body was brought home and buried in Westbrookville Cemetery on September 19, 1948.

Memories of Richard James Page (1913-1945)Edit

I went over to Otisville, the tuberculosis place there, and got a job. A dollar-a-day they paid over there -- Dick Page was working over there at the time -- got a dollar-a-day and just came home on weekends. When it come Spring of 1936, round April or something, why, they was cleaning out the railroad tunnel. We got a job in the summertime gandydancing on the Erie railroad. Cleaned out the Otisville tunnel. Dick Page and I, Jagers, Louie Inella, Mook Lagana and I don't know who else, maybe Howe Culver, we all went over and got a job gandydancing. Three dollars and sixty cents a day. Mook and Ardeth they was renting Gillette's place up towards Skinners. We moved in with them. We lived with them all of '36. Got laid off in the Fall of the year. Then there wasn't anything to do but a job here and there. Cut our firewood. Cut some wood for some other people. Of course we raised a garden while we was there. After we cleaned out that tunnel, starting in April. It was in July, sometime in '36; there's probably a weather record of that where you'd find out what date that was. We'd been working out of the sun, in the tunnel. They split the gang up. Dick Page, he went with a gang that went towards Port Jervis, and I went with a gang that went towards Middletown, cribbing out cinders. Leo Turchin, the foreman, he said he wanted three rails a day. A rail's thirty-nine foot long, so say forty, that a hundred and seventeen foot of cinders cribbed out between the ties, cleaning the shoulders off, and everything. I don't think they got it that day, because it was so hot that ten o'clock in the morning some of the boys said, "That's enough for me. We ain't working today." Out of thirteen, I think there was three of us -- I don't know who the other two was -- that worked the whole day. I was about ready to quit around three-thirty sometime, but Brownie, the second foreman, he had some hot tea left. He gave me a cup or a half a cup of hot tea and I managed to last the day out of it. I don't know how hot, but it was well over a hundred degrees. Dick Page, he come back through the tunnel. They wanted to pick up a light there that they used when we was cleaning out the tunnel. Dick said he just about had strength enough to pick up this light and set it on the grampus, and come on into Otisville, where he unloaded it. That was on a Friday. Saturday we went up to Page's. Dick had lost his voice. He just sat there on the porch. It was a good thing he had two days, a weekend. He wasn't ready to go back to work Saturday or Sunday. ... We're digging pier holes, three foot square. Using sawed off pick handles and sawed off shovel handles. You could get down in three foot square. Man up on top was pulling dirt and rocks up by the pailful and dumping it. That was the way they were digging them. The first day we started there, why the foreman come around and he says, "I don't want you boys to dig over three foot deep for a day." Well we thought he was kidding. Jagers, he don't -- especially --Jagers, when he worked he had to work like Hell regardless. He had to do more work than any other laborer. He was built that way. Within an hour he was down two foot. The foreman come around, and he was real mad about it. So that's the way we ... If that's all they want, that's all we'll dig. But Jagers said work! Well, the job lasted and lasted. They was trying to bankrupt them. Trying to bankrupt Mosher and Dunnegan, which they succeeded in doing after a while. After about two weeks of that, why Jager said, "We won't be able to do a day's work if we stay here that long." I was down sixteen feet, and they hit quite a boulder. They had to drill it and blast it with dynamite. That was somebody else's job. Hodcarriers couldn't do that. A blaster come in and busted up that rock. Then I went down to clean it up. I filled the bucket too full. When the man up on top pulled the bucket across the cribbing, the bottom of the pail just ticked the cribbing and the top rock fell off. About as big as a teacup. No hard hats. There wasn't any wearing any hard hats at the time. I'm down in the hole, and I heard him holler soon as it put the pail across the cribbing. I knew what the Hell was coming, so I didn't look up. I just pulled my neck in and it hit me on top of the head. I seen a lot of stars and one thing another. I thought I was going to pass out, because my knees got weak. Then I figured I better climb out of here before someone has to come down and pull me up. They took three or four stitches in my head. Laid down for the rest of the afternoon. Dick Page, he was quite worried. When that happened he said his thoughts was, "How am I going to go home and tell my sister that she's a widow?" But that wasn't the way it ended. It didn't turn out that way. After we joined the union, we poured a retaining wall for the railroad in Newburgh. That was only a one day job, I think, but once they started that wall they couldn't stop. That retaining wall was about twenty feet high. The concrete mixer couldn't be set right on the job. The mixer was set some ways back and they pumped it through a pipe. The forms was tied together. Of course, they's wider at the bottom. Oh, I don't know, Hell, that wall must have been maybe six foot wide at the bottom. It come up to a foot or eighteen inches. Tied together with irons, you know. About twenty feet deep. When you poured that concrete in from the top -- the pipe didn't go clear to the bottom -- you poured it in from the top, and let it bounce over those rods, they wanted a couple of men down there with shovels to level it off as they pumped, with this concrete spraying down onto them. First two guys come up, said "Hell with that!", they ain't going to do it. So they ... I think they sent down two more that came up, and finally Page and Jagers. They went down because the company offered to pay them time-and-a-half for that job. We worked. I forget now whether it was eleven or thirteen hours, which I don't remember which it was. Of course after it went over eight hours they got time-and-a-half on the time-and-a-half. So for those first eight hours they got nine dollars, and I think they made around sixteen dollars that day. That was a hell of a price back there in 1936. They washed their eyes out; cement and one thing another. Page got some down under his belt. He had to go up to the Doctor to get fixed up.

  • Excerpts from the diary of his brother-in-law regarding the death of Dick Page and the impact it had on Arch Page:

May 8, 1945: Official Celebration of VE day. Not near as exciting as Armistice after the 1st World War ... May 9: Dick Page was killed on Mindanao, P.I. [Written in margin above May 9 in a different, heavier pen than the original entry, evidently it was written three weeks after the fact]... May 21, 1945: Got a letter from Dick Page in the Phillipines… [already dead, but they don't know it]…May 28… We received word of Dick Page's death in the Phillapine [sic] Islands. June 1, 1945: If my son grows up to be as good a man in every way as his name sake was (Uncle Dick Page) I will feel justly proud. June 2, 1945: Arch is very feeble. July 16, 1945: Arch isn't able to go out doors. July 17, 1945: Rain. I helped Chink mow some grass in a.m. & again in p.m. Visited with Arch. Chink has been discharged about a month & is home with his wife. Mook took us up to Skinners in evening. ... August 8, 1945: Got a Telegram from Tommy saying Arch was dead, funeral at 2 p.m. Saturday. August 10, 1945: Went down to Terwilligers Funeral Parlor this evening. Arch looks very natural. August 11, 1945: Clear & very warm ... went to Middletown this morning with Ma's car. It was a large funeral, lots of flowers.

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