Entry Date: 43

Exit Date: 47

Rating: ARM

Squad: 111

Status: D: 07/14/2017

Dick Webb, 1942

Dick, 2002

“Dick Webb grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana where he finished high school at 16. He joined the Navy at age 17 in July of 1941, went to boot camp at Great Lakes NTC, Aviation Radio School in Jacksonville, FL, Radar School in Yellow Water, FL, and Gunnery School in Hollywood, FL.

Dick’s first duty was in Torpedo Squadron Six aboard the USS Enterprise in February 1942 as a radio gunner in a TBD (Devastator). He was wounded at the battle of Midway in June 1942.

After hospitalization, Dick transferred to Hutchinson, Kansas for training in PB4Y-1s (B-24s) and then joined VB-106 at Camp Kearney, California in February 1943. Dick then did a tour of duty in Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Munda, New Georgia, and the Admiralty Island. In June of 1944 he returned to the States as a Combat Air Crewman, Aviation Radioman Second Class. After a brief tour as a radio code instructor in Memphis, TN, and as a member of CASU Six in Alameda, CA, Dick transferred to Camp Kearney for training in PB4Y-2s.

Dick was assigned to the crew of LTJG W.E. Derryberry, PPC, as first radioman, and became a memeber of VPB-111 in March of 1945 at Tacloban, Leyte, in the Philippines as a replacement crew. VPB-111 was flying PB4Y-1s. He flew patrols in Indo-China, Borneo, Singapore in Malaya and the Celebes Islands. He remained on Palawa until the end of the war. In October 1945, Dick flew a PB4Y-2 back to Floyd Bennett Field in New York. Dick had achieved the rank of ARM First Class at this time. He remained with VPB-111 through the designation changes (VPB-111, VP-HL-11, and finally VP-21) and was discharged from the Navy in September 1948 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with the rank of ARMC.

Dick then returned home to Indianapolis and entered Indiana University at Bloomington, graduating in 1953 as an Industrial Engineer. He then worked as a production manager and plant manager for United States Radium Co. in North Hollywood, CA, until December 1960. He was then recruited and hired by RCA in Indianapolis as manager of cost planning where he remained until retirement in 1984.

Dick Webb is a widower with one son, Rick. He was a Scout Master for 14 years and an advisor for Junior Achievement. He is a life member of the American Legion and VFW, and a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and the Shrine.

Dick has been a member of the VPB-111/ VP-21 Veterans Association since the Orlando reunion in 1987, and has been Treasurer since the Indianapolis reunion in 1989. Dick was responsible for the preparation of the Articles of Association for our organization and submitted them to the IRS in August of 1989 to obtain our “”Not-for-Profit”” tax status. Dick has also had the privelige of having been a former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the VPB-111/ VP-21 Veterans Association.

From the obituary for Dick Webb:

“”Richard Stanton Webb, 93, died peacefully on July 14, 2017, in his home in The Villages, Florida, of lung cancer.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 28, 1924, his greatest adventure in life, he often said, began in July of 1941 when he joined the Navy at the age of 17. He first saw action in WWII at the Battle of Midway in June of 1942. He was a radio operator/gunner in a torpedo bomber, a TBD Devastator. His plane was shot down along with most of the other 16 TBDs in Torpedo Squadron 6 from the USS Enterprise. After recovering from his injuries, he retrained to fly in a safer plane (his words) a PB4Y-1, the Navy’s version of a B24. He joined VPB-111 in March of 1945 and flew patrol missions throughout the South Pacific out of a base in the Philippines. When the war ended, his squadron continued to fly missions, not for enemy sightings but to gather data for weather forecasting. While on one of these weather flights, his PB4Y-2 was the first recorded aircraft to successfully fly through the eye of a tropical cyclone with winds over 74 mph (hurricane strength) and live to tell about it. He returned with VPB-111 to the States and served until his honorable discharge in 1948 as a Chief Aviation Radioman.

He returned home and, on the GI Bill, attended Indiana University at the IU/PU Indianapolis campus. He went on to become an industrial engineer. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1957 to take a job in a company that made luminous gauges for commercial and military aircraft. Two years later, he was lured back to Indianapolis by the Radio Corporation of America (he always said that it was ironic, a better job back home, and RCA didn’t know it was a homecoming for him). The day after he turned 60 and after 25 years of service, he retired in 1984 from RCA.

Outside of work and family he enjoyed automobile racing. For over 40 years, he was an auditor for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He often said, “the race wasn’t official until he said so.” He officiated his last race in 1997 as the Chief Auditor of Timing and Scoring. His other pursuits included bowling, golf, and a long association with the Shriners and the American Legion where he served as the Commander of Post 465 in Indianapolis several times but for most year’s he was the Treasurer.

Richard moved to the Villages in 1997 following the death of his fifth wife, Joann. Richard was married and divorced four times to: Frances (with whom he had a son), Patricia (twice), and Marilyn.

Richard enjoyed his 20+ years in the Villages for several reasons: the year-round golfing weather, plenty of new friends, and finally finding a loving significant other, Mary Quartararo. Mary’s extensive family, four daughters and a son, their children, grandchildren, and spouses provided Richard with a rich and full life. We should all be so blessed.

He is survived by his son, Rick, of Sacramento, California, his sister Mary Ellen Bryant of Indianapolis, Indiana, and his significant other, Mary Quartararo of Ocala, Florida.”””