RICHARDSON Elizabeth Ann

richardson elisabeth 1
AGE27 yo
DATE OF BIRTH8 june 1918 à Akron OHIO
STATESummit County OHIO
FAMILYParent: Charles Monroe & Henrietta M Mehlbach RICHARDSON
Brothers: John A & Charles M
RANKCaptain of his unit "Kansas City" (non-military)
UNITEClubmobile (A.R.C.) "Kansas City"
ARMYCroix rouge Américaine (A.R.C.)
DATE OF DEATH25 july 45richardson elisabeth tombe


History of Temporary Cemeteries


Map Normandy American Cemetery

Medal of the American Red CrossPhoto FDLM
 us army

Elizabeth Ann Richardson was born on June 8, 1918 in Akron, Ohio, but grew up in Mishawaka, a small industrial town on the outskirts of South Bend, Indiana, 160 km east of Chicago.

She is the daughter of Charles Monroe Richardson and Henrietta M. Mehlbach Richardson, Elizabeth is the eldest of the three children, she is the big sister of two little boys John Anton in 1922 and Charles Monroe Jr in 1929.

After graduating from Mishawaka High School, Elizabeth entered the Milwaukee-Downer College in Wisconsin in the fall of 1936 with a specialization in Art and English. Very active in the field hockey team and in the life of the establishment she created, in her first year, Beulah a small comic strip inside the establishment.

She also writes for the quarterly journal Kodak.

Aerial view of Milwaukee-Downer College, an institution for girls, where Elizabeth studied from 1936 to 1940


Passionate about art, she is fond of drawing, painting, photography, poetry, watercolor and music. Liz was a visual and creative artist, she spent many hours drawing and writing poems as well as stories.

Drawing by Elizabeth Richardson on June 14, 1939 entitled Smoking Room


In 1939 Elizabeth won the Joseph E. Davies Award for the best work produced by a student enrolled in a Wisconsin School of Art. Drawing by Elizabeth Richardson on June 14, 1939 entitled Smoking Room.

In 1940 she graduated from Milwaukee-Downer College and worked for Schuster, an advertising agency in Milwaukee. Like many young Americans of his generation Elizabeth is in favor of the fact that the United States must not become militarily involved in the second world war. War that has already burned Europe, Asia and Africa.

However, his wish for non-military commitment soon changed after the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941 on Pearl Harbor. Although unwilling to see the United States entering the war, it hopes that thanks to the latter and an entry into the conflict on the side of the allies the victory over the Axis forces will soon be won in order to recover peace quickly.

In May 1944, wanting to do something to help her country and work for peace, she left her advertising job in Milwaukee and volunteered in the American Red Cross after passing the admission tests.

After six weeks of training as a nurse at Hurst Hall at the American University in Washington DC and obtaining her certificate in early July 1944, Elizabeth embarked on the Queen Elizabeth ship to England. The crossing of the Atlantic is calm, it joins the million American soldiers who took part in the liberation of Europe.

The American University of Washington DC, center of formation of the red cross frequented by Elizabeth during July 1944.


Newly disembarked in England it will spend the next twelve months stationed in England and France. Elizabeth was assigned to the Clubmobile units of the American Red Cross where her main mission was to maintain and raise the morale of troops returning from the front after the fighting by preparing and serving donuts and coffee to the soldiers and discussing with them.

She will write to her parents:

"I consider myself lucky to be in the clubmobiles, I can not conceive anything else it is a rough, irregular and bizarre life but it is wonderful, it is also wonderful that everything is under these circumstances"

She will also write to one of her best friends:

"I would not exchange my life for anything else, I have so many satisfactions in what I do with my life that I had not realized before".

Known for her skills, organization and leadership, Elizabeth is promoted to captain of her unit "Kansas City".

In February 1945 Elizabeth is transferred to France where she will continue her mission until the German edition.

The victory is now gained in Europe.

On the morning of July 25, 1945, at the Havre aerodrome, Elizabeth took a two-seater military aircraft "Piper Club" to Paris to join the headquarters of the Red Cross in order to learn of her new assignment , Occupied Germany before returning home.

The plane Piper club in which Elizabeth takes place on the morning of July 25, 1945.


However the pilot struggles to fly because of a thick fog, the plane crashes near Rouen.

Elizabeth and the pilot, Sergeant William R. Miller, attached to the 9th Air Force, lost their lives.

She was only 27 years old.

After being buried more than two years in the military cemetery of Saint André-de-l'Eure (Evreux), the American authorities decided in 1948 to transfer the body of Elizabeth on the heights of Omaha Beach to the cemetery of Colleville On Sea. She now rests in this haven of peace under one of the 9387 white crosses with only a few tombs of the sergeant William R. Miller who accompanied him in the death this Wednesday 25 July 1945 in the morning.

cimetière militaire de Saint André-de-l'Eure (Evreux)
Provisional cemetery of St André de l'Eure

After her death members of her family and friends decided to create the Elizabeth RICHARDSON Prize in her memory, which is always awarded to a student who excels in art.

Anne E Ott récipendaire du prix Elizabeth Richardson en 1948.
Anne E OTT recipient of the Elizabeth Richardson Award in 1948.

Milwaukee-Downer College also decides to pay tribute to her former student and published in 1950 the poems and stories written by Elizabeth in First Round , an internal newsletter at the institution.

histoire d'ElizabethBook written by James H Madison on the history of Elizabeth

Journal personnel d'ElizabethElizabeth's Personal Journal
Elizabeth Ann Richardson
Photo taken in 1939
Elizabeth and her friends on the field hockey team

The crew of the unit "Kansas City" in Barrow in Furness, England, December 1944. From left to right: Aileen ANDERSON, Elizabeth RICHARDSON and Margee PRINCIPAL.

Elizabeth distributing donuts to American soldiers returning from captivity.

Rue de Colleville sur Mer bearing the name of Elizabeth RICHARDSON, inaugurated by her niece in 2014 during the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the landing.

Letter dated July 31, 1945, written by Bette Brigham's friend and member of the Elizabeth Unit.

June 3, 1944

31 july 1945

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Richardson,

It is a new small cemetery, beautiful in its simplicity located on a small hill with about 5000 white crosses in a perfect alignment. The grass has not yet come, but there are plots of beautiful red geraniums between the blocks of graves and in the center the American flag at half-mast.

The cemetery is surrounded by a white fence, Liz was the first American woman buried in this cemetery among others who like it have given everything for the good of men.

Maggie, Mary and I leave tomorrow morning for Paris and then Germany, Liz should have been with us, I hope every one of us can keep good memories, but I know that Liz's spirit will always be with us.

We are determined not to be sad, Liz would not have wanted it I know.

We continue to think of his wonderfully quick and humorous way in front of a situation ...

Liz had a good life, she lived every moment as best she could, she was so happy to go to Paris, I know she had no regrets because she was doing what she had so much satisfaction for.

Please know how much we think of you and we want to help.


Bette Brigham

"Elizabeth poses with a military police man."

"The First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Reagan flourished the grave of Elizabeth Richardson on June 6, 1982 during the ceremonies of the 38th anniversary of the landing."

Tribute to Elizabeth RICHARDSON at the Visitors' Center of the American Collegiate Cemetery

PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud