John Dunne "Jack" Richardson, Class of 1943

(10/17/1921 01/09/2015)


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John Dunne “Jack” Richardson passed away January 9, 2015 at the age of 93. He was born October 17, 1921 in Anoka, MN.

He entered UT in the fall of 1940 and was one of the original 110 Plank Owners of the new Naval ROTC Unit there. While at UT he was also a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. On May 31, 1943, Jack and all his fellow Midshipmen were sworn in on active duty to prevent them from being drafted since the draft age had just been recently changed from age 21 to 18. The very next month Jack was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and sent to war, just short of graduating and earning his degree, like many other Midshipmen.

Jack was assigned to the USS Rowan (DD-405). During WWII, the Rowan was on duty in the Gulf of Salerno, off the west coast of Italy, screening empty transport ships. In the early morning hours of September 11, 1943 the Rowan was hit by a torpedo from a German E-boat, the German version of a PT boat. She sank in 40 seconds taking 202 of her 273 men with her. Jack lost a leg in the attack and received a purple heart and an honorable discharge on December 31, 1944.

As an amputee Jack lived his life to the fullest and accomplished many things during his post-war years. Jack returned to UT and finished his BA degree in 1945, also resuming his membership in Beta Theta Pi. He went on to earn a BL degree from Yale Law School and was there a member of Phi Delta Phi, an honorary legal fraternity.

Jack then earned his law license and became a member of the American Bar Association. He returned to Texas and became a member of the State Bar of Texas. He traveled the world, sailed on his boat and made friends everywhere he went including his best friends of 29 years Javier Barrera and Diana Reyes from San Antonio, TX.

Services were held January 26, 2015 at St. Luke Catholic Church and interment was after that at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, both in San Antonio, TX. Much of this obituary was taken from one published in the San Antonio Express-News on January 24th, supplemented with other information gleaned from the UT Cactus yearbook and other sources.


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Last Updated: March 3, 2017