|Birth: ||Mar. 15, 1918|
|Death: ||Feb. 1, 1985|
Pictured at bottom of the picture featured here.
Richard F.B. (Franklin Benjamin) Mayes (aka Dick Mayes) was born in the Sellwood District of Portland, Oregon and later lived in Aurora, and Woodburn Oregon, on the family farm. He worked with his father until he left for the army in 1941, months prior to Pearl Harbor. Dick entered the Army Nat'l Guard & was stationed at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington. He was trained as a Tec 5, and was in a Medical Detachment as a medic, 41st Division Infantry (a division primarily of soldiers & support from the Pacific NW). The Division was sent immediately, following Pearl Harbor, on train to New Jersey and then by ship "around the horn" of S. America, then across the Pacific to Australia for training. This was due to the majority of the US Navy having been destroyed in the Pearl Harbor Bombing, and ships were not available in the necessary quantities for the Pacific Theater of WWII.
Following Training, Dick and his medic partner Frank Gehrman (among others) were sent to New Guinea for active duty. Estimates of up to 90% American/Allied Casualties created an extremely treacherous situation. New Guinea has often been called "The Vietnam of WWII" by historians for good reason, due to terrain, casualties, etc. (Frank Gehrman is pictured above Dick in the pictures provided on this memorial page).
While in New Guinea, Dick contracted Malaria and Dengue Fever at nearly the same time, and while recuperating both of his parents died within days of each other back in Oregon. He was sent home on furlough for mourning and for physical recovery from his illnesses. Within a month of returning he married his one and only wife in 1945, and after finishing his military service guarding a Nazi Officer's Prison camp in Colorado, he was honorably discharged.
Dick became a skilled salesman in Southern Oregon for US Steel Corp, making his home and having 2 children in Central Point, Oregon. Regardless of having only an 8th grade education, his abilities in engineering and mathematics were quite good and necessary to estimating materials and proportions needed for his work. He was part of, through his sales, building many of the bridges built in the late 40s through 1970s in Southern Oregon and other various locations in Oregon.
Dick's great love, put aside by the sale of his parents' farm in 1945, was expressed in his beautiful garden and plants in his own yards. He took a lot of pride in growing healthy vegetables and fruits. He also was obsessed with cars and engines of all kinds, and was a regular fix-it guy. He loved building projects during his retirement, and keeping himself busy and outdoors.
Upon retirement Dick and his wife moved to Alabama to provide help & support children/grandchildren there. Back in Oregon, US Steel Collapsed and Dick lost his pension, as the workers in his old company had no union to negotiate for them. Due to this, Dick worked part-time doing manual labor, custodial work, & lawn maintenance (as he was not hireable at his age) to supplement his social security, continuing his relentless drive for hard work done well, until he died of liver/colon/lung cancer in 1985. He was survived by his wife, 2 children, many grandchildren, three of his sisters, and many many friends and extended family members.
His ability to be positive in the worst conditions was almost astounding, and much of this was probably due to the appreciation of surviving his service in World War II and his active life in church. He is still cherished & dearly missed.
Perry Wright Mayes (1876 - 1944)
Sarah Ellen Barker Mayes (1876 - 1944)
Janette Laurella Mayes (1950 - 2013)*
Richard F Mayes/ Tec 5 US Army/ World War II/ Mar 15, 1918 to Feb 1, 1985. Cross Insignia.
Note: Though Dick died in Alabama, his casket was returned to Oregon for burial
Memory Gardens Memorial Park
Maintained by: want2buytheworldacoke
Originally Created by: Tricia Foster
Record added: Jun 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53408041