Mr. Richard F. Bates


oh bates

     One of the best experiences I have had since starting this project in March, 2012 has been becoming friends with Mr. Richard Forrest Bates of Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Dick Bates had the distinction of having served in the "New Galahad" phase of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), joining the "Merrill's Marauders" during the critical seige of the town of Myitkyina in June of 1944.  Later on, after the disbanding of the 5307th, Mr. Bates became part of the 475th Infantry Regiment of the Mars Task Force.  This regiment also included the 612th Field Artillery Battalion (Pack), of which my father George W. Haupin was a part.  Although the two men did not know each other during their time in Burma, they worked in close proximity with each other and probably even saw each other from time to time.

     Mr. Bates has the distinction of having written what in my opinion is the best and most complete first-person account of the years from his first entry into the Army, basic training, actions in Burma and China, and his return home in 1946.  The name of his book is Memories of Military Service: (A Teenager In Burma), and it is available for purchase at Amazon.com.  I highly recommend this well-written, fascinating 2004 account by this great man.

     Mr. Bates is a compelling speaker, and hearing him tell the story is more fun than reading it.  In 1995, he was interviewed by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center and an oral record of this interview can be found at this web address:  

http://wpt.org/wisconsinStories/worldwar2/oralHistories.cfm?action=Bates

     Anyone wishing to read a written transcription of Mr. Bates' interview can find a PDF file in the Documents section of this website.

© George P. Haupin 2012