Richard Varnum, son of Licon and Helen Varnum, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1918. He had an older brother, Alden. The Family moved to Teaneck, New Jersey in or around 1926. Richard attended and graduated from Teaneck High School (THS Class of 1936).
His ambition in high school was to become a construction engineer. His main hobby was sailing. Richard played on THS’s baseball and basketball teams. He also served as a Senior Class Cabinet member. After THS, Richard attended the Newark School of Engineering and later Pace Institute.
Richard initially enlisted on 9/16/40. He served in the Teaneck Engineers of the New Jersey National Guard which was incorporated into Federal service.
Richard married Betty Blood in 1942. His wife was pregnant with their daughter while he was in the service. In his last letter dated 6/17/44, Captain Varnum expressed his concern over his wife and the coming child. He gave his daughter, who was born at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, the name of Diane Elizabeth.
He worked his way up the ranks and eventually was promoted to Army Captain in August of 1943. Captain Varnum was in command of the Combat Engineers of the 79th Division when he was killed in action in France on 6/26/44. At the time of his death, his Division was in the area of Cherbourg.
This man of courage lies buried in George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus NJ.
High School Yearbook
Te-Hi News (Teaneck High School Newspaper)
- Richard P (Captain) Varnum - Overview
- 1920 United States Federal Census for Richard Varnum
- 1940 United States Federal Census for Richard Varnum
- U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
- U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1663 for Richard P. Varnum
fold3.com (Historical Military Records)
National World War II Memorial, Wash., D.C.
Find A Grave Website