Veteran Spotlight: Richard Jay (Dick) Stutz

Richard Jay (Dick) Stutz

Dick Stutz, with grandson Evan James, who is currently stationed in Japan with the U.S. Air Force

Dick served in the U.S. Army during WWII and Korea. 

During WWII, he was with the 101st Airborne Division for a short period of time before transferring to another unit as a mechanic. He said that the transfer was because the Army knew he came from a farming community.

Dick was 18 when he went into the Army and remembers his father walking out in the field where he was working to talk to him before he went off to war. Dick didn’t graduate with his high school class, as he was called to serve his country.

While serving in WWII, he was stationed in Africa, Europe, and Switzerland, working on Sherman tanks with radial engines along with other duties as he was ordered to do, he said. He remembers being issued half of a tent, and would have to get someone else with another half to share the tent with.

At the end of WWII, he returned to civilian life. He recalled coming into Elkhart on the train, walking across the street to Wambaugh Buick Garage, and getting a job.

Later, he went to Korea with the 32nd Engineer Construction Group, helping to construct a modern highway from Ulsan to Wonju, South Korea, a main supply route for the X Corps, U.S. Army. This, along with the efforts of fellow soldiers working together, paved the way for victories achieved in Korea.

On returning home once more, he went to work for Max Meyers Motors in Middlebury. He married his wife, Judy, and bought Middlebury Plumbing and Heating. He doesn’t recall how long he had the business, but Judy said it was a “long time.”

Upon his discharge, Dick received the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars.