Richard Selden Demory
Dick Demory was born in Greenwich, Connecticut on September 18, 1920. He moved with his family at the age of four to Montecito, California, and graduated from Laguna Blanca High School.
Demory joined the National Guard in 1940 and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington when Pearl Harbor was attacked. When the National Guard was then federalized, Dick Demory went to Officers Candidate School and upon completion was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He was assigned as a Platoon Leader of the 3rd Platoon, C Troop, 113th Cavalry, “The Red Horse Cavalry”. He was involved in the liberation of Paris and for a short time was the acting Mayor of three outlying villages. The “Red HorseCavalry ” crossed France and Belgium, were instrumental in the Battle of the Bulge, and were involved with the liberation of Germany. Lieutenant Demory was awarded his first Bronze Star for valor when after the British had closed the Falaise-Argentan Gap, the “Red Horse Cavalry” killed over 400 Germans and captured 1000. By the end of WWII, Lieutenant Demory was awarded a second Bronze Star for valor, a Purple Heart, the Belgian Fourragere, and many other service medals.
Captain Demory volunteered for the Army again in 1948. He was assigned to an Artillery Battalion in Fort Hood, Texas. He then entered pilot training and at Connally AFB in Waco, Texas he received his wings in 1949.
After the outbreak of the Korean war he was assigned to the 3rd artillery in Korea. Captain Demory flew 125 missions in L-19 and L-20 spotter planes over enemy lines in Korea, where his aircraft was hit with enemy fire six times. He then took over the 54th Medical Helicopter Ambulance, M.A.S.H. His Bell H-13 Helicopter was hit with enemy fire. He flew the very last M.A.S.H. evacuation at shortly before 10 PM of the cease-fire. Captain Demory received his second Purple Heart for action in Korea.
In 1958, Demory commanded a flight of 7 de Havilland Otter aircraft from Germany to Lebanon during the Lebanon Crisis. The aircraft were to support the Marines and the 24th Infantry Division. He was stationed in Lebanon for three months, flying paratroopers.
Later Lieutenant Colonel Demory was assigned to the de Havilland Aircraft Factory in Toronto. The United States ordered 173 aircraft in 1959 and took the first delivery in 1961 under the factory designation AC-1. The US Army and Air Force designated the aircraft as the C-7 Caribou. He was the sole test pilot for every one of these aircraft and then flew the first one to Viet Nam for combat evaluation. He was then assigned to the Bell Helicopter factory in Hurst, Texas, where he was the Commanding Officer responsible for test flying the Huey Helicopter prior to delivery for service in Viet Nam. He later went to Hughes in the same capacity for light observation helicopters.
Richard Selden Demory, a long time member of Old Bold Pilots, passed away on June 15, 2010, at his home in San Antonio, Texas. He was 89 years old.