July 22, 1944 (Norwalk, CT) – February 04, 1968; 23 years old
Last local address: parents both deceased; brother listed at 3 Yost Street, Norwalk
Enlisted on April 28, 1966
MOS: 0311, Rifleman
Tour Start Date: August 31, 1967
Service number: 2289425
Unit: III MAF, 1st Marine Division, 5th Marines, 1st Battalion, B Company
Born to George (1875-1955) and Ella Richards (1906-1957). Five brothers, George (1928-1998), Robert (?-?), John (1936-1990), William (1932-2007) and Frank (1927-2001); three sisters, Elizabeth Richards Willis (1937-2012) and Ella Richards Feola (1929-2014) and Mary Ann (1952-).
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal
From The Norwalk Hour February 10, 1968
Norwalk has lost its 11th serviceman to the Vietnam War it learned today. Marine Lance Corporal Charles E. Richards, 23, of 126 Scribner Avenue, died of gunshot wounds in the chest suffered when he was on patrol in the village of Thua Thien on February 4, th sixth day of the current Communist offensive. A Marine Corps spokesman called Friday on Albert Richards of 3 Yost Street, advising him of his brother’s death. Details were confirmed in a subsequent telegram from the Defense Department. Funeral services will take place in one to two weeks, then Corporal Richards’ body can be transported to this country, his brother said today. They will be conducted in the Rowayton Methodist Church. Corporal Richards is the first local serviceman to be killed in Vietnam in 1968. Four of the others have been Marines. He enlisted in April of 1966 and was assigned to Vietnam last August with the First Battalion of the Fifth Marine Division. In company-scale operations, he was part of the radio team. Mr. Richards said today his brother seldom wrote of Vietnam or his work there, instead limiting his letters to personal matters. Often there would simply be a paycheck for deposit in his account here. Once such check arrived Friday, before the Defense Department telegram. Corporal Richards was born in Stamford and raised in Norwalk, attending local schools. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Richards. Surviving are five other brothers, George and Robert of Norwalk, John , William and Frank of Pawling, New York; three sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Willis of Bridgeport and Mrs. Ella Feola and Miss Mary Ann Richards of Trumbull; and several nieces and nephews.
From The Norwalk Hour February 23, 1968
Final Tribute To Corporal Richards
Bitter cold chilled the saddened Norwalkers who paid their final tribute Thursday to Marine Lance Corporal Charles E. Richards, 23, of 126 Scribner Avenue. Corporal Richards died from gunshot wounds in the chest suffered while he was on patrol in Thua Thien, Vietnam on February 4 during a fierce Communist assault on the village. The Marine is the first local serviceman to be killed in 1968 and the 11th Norwalker to make the supreme sacrifice in the Vietnam War. Full military services for Corporal Richards were held Thursday in the Rowayton Methodist Church with Reverend Richard N. Ryley, pastor, officiating. Interment was in the veterans section of Riverside Cemetery with Reverend Ryley reading committal prayers. A Marine Honor Guard led by Major Michael J. Zachodni, consisting of Sergeant Barry L. Edmonds, Sergeant John P. Downs, Corporal Willie L. Odom, Corporal Earl D. Martin, Corporal Earl D. Martin, Corporal Samuel A. Kirkpatrick, Private First Class Edward M. Leonard and Corporal Eugene K. Holland, accorded the deceased full military honors. Pallbearers were Staff Sergeant Arden Adelgais, Sergeant Michael L. Garee, Staff Sergeant Charles H. Gay, Staff Sergeant Otis M. Hollman, Staff Sergeant Dean E. Kaple and First Sergeant John R. McInnis. Musician Third Class Thomas Bruce, USN, sounded Taps. Mayor Frank N. Zullo led a delegation of city officials and veterans organizations at the funeral services. Although Corporal Richards came from a large family — six brothers and three sisters — he was reticent about discussing war with them. His letters home were about personal matters. They often contained only a paycheck for deposit in his account. The Norwalk Marine was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Richards. He is survived by six brothers, George, Albert, and Robert of Norwalk, William of Bridgeport, John of Southbury, and Frank of Pawling; three sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Willis, Mrs. Ella Feola and Miss Mary Ann Richards, all of Bridgeport, and several nieces and nephews.
Lance Corporal Richards is buried at Riverside Cemetery, Norwalk; Section 11, Plot 302. Photo by webmaster.