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Richard T. Lockhart,

Private First Class,

U.S. Army

A World War II veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Richard T. Lockhart's service is honored by the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

Richard Lockhart was born in Lima, Ohio, on January 20, 1924. After working as a paper boy and soda jerk during high school in Ft. Wayne, IN, he enrolled at Purdue University where he joined the compulsory ROTC program. He enlisted in the reserves on December 7, 1942, one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Sent to Ft. Eustis, VA, for basic training, Lockhart was initially trained as a loader for a 120mm anti-aircraft artillery piece. He later volunteered for infantry service and was placed in an anti-tank company in the 106th Infantry Division as a gunner on a 57mm anti-tank gun. PFC Lockhart’s unit was shipped to Europe in September of 1944, subsequently deploying through France to the Ardennes Forest. On December 16, 1944, the German offensive later known as the Battle of the Bulge forced the retreat of PFC Lockhart's unit. Just a few days later, out of food and ammunition, their weapons were destroyed and they were forced to surrender to the Germans.

Lockhart and his fellow soldiers were sent in overcrowded box cars to STALAG IX-B, where they faced bitter cold and severe food shortages. They subsisted on thin soup made of turnip tops until they were liberated in April 1945.

After the war, Lockhart attended Northwestern University and in 1958 started a governmental affairs and lobbying company, becoming one of the most influential people in Illinois over the last 60 years.

Lockhart has also donated a collection of his personal papers, which are housed and cared for in the Museum & Library's archives.

 

Book dedicated: Battle: The Story of the Bulge by John Toland

Listen to Richard Lockhart's Oral History