Richard L. Boxwell, Jr.
Richard Boxwell was born in 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. He graduated high school in June, 1950, right before the Korean War started. Richard Boxwell chose to join the Navy because he thought that branch would be safer than fighting on land with the Army. His service was from October 1950 to July 1954. Richard Boxwell was a boatswain’s mate, 2nd class, assigned to aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge.
Navy Injuries Led to Lifelong Pain
Richard Boxwell experienced lifelong injuries he incurred from his service on an aircraft carrier. A plane ran over part of his leg. Earplugs were not used on aircraft carriers during the Korean War and this led to his permanent hearing loss.
No Purple Heart
Richard Boxwell did not earn a Purple Heart for his war-related injuries. Even though he was injured doing war-related work on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War, he was not eligible for a Purple Heart because he was not in direct combat. It was ironic that he went into the Navy to stay away from injury, but he still ended up injured.
Alcohol on a Naval Ship
Richard Boxwell describes attitudes about beer and alcohol. Beer was not considered alcohol, at that time. Certain on-board personnel were given beer as any flight could be their last flight.