Richard Calvin Baynes, Colonel USAF (Ret), passed away on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Irvine, Calif., at 88 years old.
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He was born May 6, 1924. in Mansfield.
Richard grew up in Mansfield where he was an Eagle Scout and a track and field and basketball star at Mansfield High School. In 1942, at age 18 he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and began flight training. At his graduation from Advanced Flight Training, he was selected as Outstanding Athlete of his class, and given his wings by Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker.
He piloted a B-24 Liberator bomber in World War II with the 466th Bomb Group, and brought his crew of 10 back safely from 35 missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. Following the war, Richard graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in civil engineering. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and the Phalanx Honor Society. In his professional career, Richard was the executive vice president of Sales and Marketing at Revere Copper and Brass and at Reading Industries, before establishing Reading Sales, West in California. Richard also authored two books, The Life and Ancestry of John Thistlethwaite Baynes, and Replacement Crew about his training and combat experience in World War II. An active volunteer and leader, Richard served as president and director of the Eighth Air Force Historical Society, president of the 466th Bomb Group Association, president of the Silver Falcons, secretary and director of Gen. Curtis LeMay Chapter of the 8th AFHS, chairman of the 60th International Anniversary of the B-24, chairman of the 2nd Air Division Regional Reunions for 14 years, member of the Order of Daedalians, and recipient of the RPI Albert Fox Demers medal.
Richard is predeceased by his loving wife of 53 years, Margaret Hoefner Baynes, and recently predeceased by his wife of three years, Mary Reinhardt. He is survived by his older brother, John Henry; his three children, Beverly Tomb (Doug) of Falls Church, Va., Caroline Harkins (Daniel) of Newport Beach, Calif., Robert Baynes (Laurie) of Alamo, Calif., and his three grandchildren, Jessica Harkins Brown (Andrew), Taylor Harkins and J. Liam Baynes.
Richard will be remembered for his service to our country and his love and devotion to his family and friends.
A memorial service will be held on a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
Published in The Wellsboro Gazette from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10, 2013