Tice, Richard Kresge, born 01-07-1922, in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, USA, the son of the late Sylvester and Hilma (Kresge) Tice. In 1940 at age 18, Richard Kresge Tice left his job as a racehorse handler in Allentown, PA, and enlisted in the U.S. Army. His career was soon cut short when medics discovered that he had a punctured eardrum. Determined to serve, Tice hitchhiked to Canada and enlisted in the British sponsored Polish forces. There he studied Polish, and soon received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. As an officer he was assigned to the 1st (Polish) Independent Airborne Brigade under command of General Stanisław Franciszek Sosabowski, which trained in Scotland. When the United States came into the war , he remained with the Polish Birgade. Despite the brigade’s repeated attempts to gain a battle assignment, it kept being put on reserve status, even during D-Day. That changed on 21-09-1944. Tice and his men parachuted from a Dakota with chalk number 62, near the village of Driel, not far from Arnhem. The Poles descended into murderous Nazi fire. Once on the ground, Tice and his men scrambled to take up a defensive position on a farm on the outskirts of Driel. The next day, Nazi infantry and armored cars assaulted Tice’s position. Tice was killed.The 1st (Polish) Independent Airborne Brigade had parachuted in with mission of supporting elements of the British 1st Airborne Division. under command of Major General Urquhart, Robert Elliott “Roy”. The British had become trapped during their attempt to capture the bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem—the famed “Bridge Too Far.” The battle for the bridge lasted nine days, resulting in staggering for the British and for the Poles.
Death and burial ground of Tice, Richard Kresge.
He died 22-09-1944, aged 22, early in the morning during his first battles in an ambush. The Germans shouted ‘Don’t shoot’ as they approached the platoon’s positions. They pretended to be English or American soldiers .. Then they opened fire and Tice was hit and died immediately.
Tice died as an American fighting under the Polish flag and now rests in British care in Dutch earth here at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery—the British Airborne Cemetery. Plot: XXXIV. Row: A. Grave: 13
On the cemetery is also buried one Dutch civilian, a resistance man fighting with the British forces in Oosterbeek, hit by a grenade and honored with a place between his comrades. Jewish resistance man Swarts, Samuël.
Tice’s story shows how small the world had become in the fight to end Nazi aggression. And, it shows how determined our Greatest Generation was to win—so determined that someone would hitchhike to war, learn a new language to lead, and jump out of plane under fire to fight. While we pause at Tice’s sacrifice, we can not help but be inspired by his actions. We met some Polish scouts at his grave today who felt the same way.