Richard Oly Oral History
Richard Oly was born April 27, 1926 in St. Petersburg, Florida, to Henry and Catheriine (Halama) Oly. When he was two years old, he moved to Minnesota with his parents. In the summer of 1943 at the age of 17, Oly joined Navy and later the Marine Corps where he trained as a Marine Raider. He was deployed to the Pacific Theater during World War II with the 5th Marine Division. When he returned home, he married his first wife Marilyn in 1953 and they had three children: Greg, Suzy and Grant. He was a student at the University of Minnesota when he was called up to participate in the Korean War. Oly was a recipient of two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star. He served 30 years with the Minneapolis Police Department. Richard Oly passed away on December 1, 2015 and buried at Daytona Memorial Park in Daytona, Florida..
Richard Oly described his time as a Marine Raider with the 5th Marine Division during both World War II and the Korean War. He enlisted in the Marine Corps during the summer of 1943, went to boot camp, and then trained to become a Marine Raider. Oly described his experiences in the Pacific Theater, especially his time at Iwo Jima. He explained that on his third day in Iwo Jima, he was shot through his hand and fingers, but was not taken to a ship until two days later. He described being taken care of on board a troop transport ship, not a hospital ship, before spending three weeks in Guam and then being transported to Hawaii. Oly recalled that though he was injured, he was sent into combat but as a member of an intelligence division. He returned back to the United States and began his studies at the University of Minnesota. He was later called to service during the Korean War and left on August 19, 1950. He spent the rest of his interview discussing in great detail his experiences with Chinese soldiers during the Korean War, how he was wounded, and his return home.
Interview by David Overy
St. Cloud State University, "Richard Oly Oral History" (1990). World War II Veterans. 49.