Richard L. St. George (1967/07/05)
Lt. St. George was being prepared to "slay the Soviet dragon" when his twentieth-century steed went down.
Richard L. St. George was born September 9, 1940, in Los Angeles County, California, to Mr. and Mrs. Reginald St. George. In 1954 Richard, along with his brother James and sister Judy, accompanied his parents in the family move to Watsonville. Reginald obtained employment at the Watsonville Press and moved his family into a home on Amesti Road half way between Watsonville and Corralitos. During their Pajaro Valley residence, the St. George family was active in All Saints Episcopal Church where young Richard served as an acolyte (altar boy). After completing grammar school, he entered Watsonville High School and graduated about 1958. During the following three years, St. George completed college programs at Cabrillo and Hartnell Colleges.
In 1963 St. George joined the US Air Force and entered an officer-training program to qualify as a navigator. At the completion of the program he was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the 72nd Wing. While serving in that unit, he received further training as an electronic warfare officer, qualifying him to arm nuclear warheads aboard intercontinental bombers. Throughout his tour of service, St. George flew countless "fail safe" missions over the globe in the event of the need for a nuclear retaliation against the Soviet Union.
On July 5, 1967, while awaiting his promotion to Captain, St. George's plane departed from Ramey AFB in Puerto Rico on a routine training mission. In flight, the aircraft developed mechanical problems over the north coast of the island that the pilot was unable to correct and the B- 52 plunged into the sea. Three of the crewmen were able to parachute to safety; however, First Lieutenant Richard St. George and the remainder of the crew sank to the bottom of the sea with the plane. His body was never recovered.
A memorial service with an air force honor guard was conducted at his family church in Watsonville. A headstone in his remembrance was installed in Pajaro Valley Memorial Park.
(CBR; WRP July 6, 1967 1:5, July 12, 1967 2:4, July 17, 1967 2:4; Cem Survey headstone; Photo-WHS)