Cumberland Times-News

Obituaries

January 27, 2014

RICHARD D. RYAN [Westernport]

WESTERNPORT — Richard Dailey Ryan, 92, formerly of Grandview Apartments, Westernport, and most recently of Egle Nursing and Rehab Center, Lonaconing, passed away Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, Cumberland.

Born March 5, 1921 in Westernport, he was the son of the late Ira T. and Mary Louise (Dailey) Ryan. He was also preceded in death by a son, Pat Ryan; two brothers, Leo and I. Emmett Ryan; a sister, Mary Louise Niland; and a great-grandson, Hunter Bennett.

Richard was a United States Army Air Corp veteran, during World War II. He served as Airplane Crew Chief in the 475th fighter group, 433rd fighter, also known as the Fighting Blue Devils or the possum squadron. He saw action in New Guinea, Bismarck, Archipelago, Western Pacific, Leyte and Luzon. He went over as tail gunner and a bomber, but the Air Force soon found out that he was a good mechanic so they made him a Mechanic Crew Chief. He had the honor of serving as Charles Lindbergh’s crew chief for two weeks while Lindbergh was flying in his squadron. Lindbergh flew the P38 190 known as “Little Judge” while visiting the 433rd in July of 1944. Richard rebuilt the poplar fighter plane. He was assigned to Col. Lindbergh in an effort to work out problems with its long range capability. Richard has a picture of him and Col. Lindbergh sitting on a P38 wing discussing the situation. He also overhauled the engine of the U.S. Air Force, Major Bong, which was credited for shooting down thirty or so Japanese fighter planes. Richard was discharged as a Technical Sergeant at Fort Dix on Sept. 2, 1945. He received the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge and a Good Conduct Medal. He was very proud of what he and fellow Tri-Towners achieved during the war.

Richard was retired from Moran Trucking, Westernport, having been a dispatcher. He was a life member of Victory Post 155 American Legion and life member of Queens Point V.F.W. 6775, McCoole. He was also a member of St. Peters Catholic Church, Westernport.

He leaves behind a son, Dale Ryan and wife Kathy of Westernport; a daughter, Mary Beth Bennett and husband Harry of Barton; six grandchildren, Sean Ryan, Brian Bennett and wife Susie, Jason Bennett and Brandi, Lauren Pelesky and husband Tim, Devan Ryan and Matthew Reeder. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Konnor and Deklen Bennett, Bryson and Parker Bennett, Dalton Smith, Madison, Andrea, and Jacob Reeder; and his special nephews and niece, Joe, Jim, Mike and Dick Niland and Barbara Shank.

Friends and family will be received at the Boal Funeral Home, Westernport, on Wednesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.  

A funeral service will be conducted at the funeral home chapel on Thursday at 1 p.m. with Deacon Harold Bradley officiating.

Interment will be in Philos Cemetery, Westernport, with full military honors accorded at graveside.

The family would like to extend thanks to Western Maryland Health Systems 7 South nurses and staff and to the Egle Nursing and Rehab Center nurses and staff for their love, compassionate care, and patience given to Richard during his stays there.

Words of comfort may be expressed to the family at boalfh.com.

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