Richard W. “Dick” Durkee, 86, a highly decorated Army veteran who led bayonet attacks on enemy lines in two wars and received the military’s second-highest medal for heroism, died Sept. 14 at his home in Berwyn Heights. He had dementia.
Mr. Durkee, who had been a promising boxer and baseball player in his youth, was an Army paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II. He was a member of the doomed 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion, which lost more than 80 percent of its 643 troops in Belgium’s Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge in January 1945. The casualties were so severe that the unit came to be known as the “Lost Battalion.” – By Matt Schudel of the Washington Post – Read the Rest of the Story –