Richard H. “Dick” Case, pictured in May 2004, was buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. He parachuted into France with the 101st Airborne Division on D-Day in 1944.
WASHINGTON — The chaplain said he was “a little extra proud” to be doing the funeral of Richard H. “Dick” Case of Las Vegas on Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.
After all, Case and Captain Chaplain Stanton Trotter were both paratroopers.
“Then I found out that he jumped on D-Day, so I was even more proud,” Trotter said.
The chaplain jumped during the 50th anniversary re-enactment of D-Day and so did Case. Case also jumped on the 60th anniversary re-enactment in 2004 when he was 83.
On March 29, 2008, he died at the age of 87 at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas. He had been unconscious since March 6 when he choked on a piece of steak during dinner at a friend's house.
Case's ashes were buried at Gravesite 6190 in Section 60 in between drives named after Sergeant Alvin York and General Omar Bradley.
About 30 people, including Representative Shelley Berkley, D-Nevada, attended the service which occurred on a hot, humid summer afternoon.
Case's wife, Betty, who died in 2003, was Jewish and according to Jewish tradition, family members placed small stones on and around the box with Case's remains.
“It is something we do to let them know we love them and we will always remember them. A stone is always living. A stone never disintegrates,” said Ruthe Blum of Cleveland who was Case's sister-in-law.
At the end of the service, Trotter presented a U.S. flag to Case's daughter, Stacy McCrary of Colleyville, Texas.
“I think my dad would be very proud that everybody came together to be here. He's been a part of a lot of different people's lives,” McCrary said.
Sitting beside McCrary was her sister, Victoria Ganser of Reno.
Referring to the lengthy procession to the gravesite, which was led by a horse-drawn carriage, Ganser said, “There was so much effort on their part to really honor him.”
Colonel Case is a hero from WWII where he parachuted into Normandy on D-Day with the famed 101st Airborne Division. The exploits of the 101st during WWII were the subject of a wonderful mini-series docudrama titled “Band of Brothers.” He Jumped at Utah Beach to secure the causeway for the invasion and experienced 21 consecutive days of combat. He was later a part of the bloody “Battle of the Bulge” in snow and sub-freezing temperatures against the German offensive fighting Allied forces in the heavily forested Ardennes region of eastern Belgium and northern Luxembourg, one of the most brutal battles of the war.
On the 50th and 60th anniversary of D-Day he jumped at Utah Beach along with 21 of the original paratroopers. He has been awarded a Purple Heart, 2 Bronze Service Stars, Oak Leaf Cluster with a Distinguished Unit Badge. As if one war was not enough, he also later served in the Korean War.
- WWII Normandy D-Day (June 6, 1944)
- Private – 101st Airborne Division – US Army
- Jumped at Utah Beach to secure causeway for the invasion
- 21 consecutive days of combat
- On the 50th and 60th anniversary of D-Day jumped at Utah Beach along with 21 of the original paratroopers
- Medals: Purple Heart, 2 Bronze Service Stars, Oak Leaf Cluter with Dist. Unit Badge
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard