Army Badge
  • Name: Richard Mirko Kirkes
  • Location of Birth: Taconite, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: November 28, 1924
  • Date of Death: May 28, 2011
  • Parents: Simo (Sam) Kirkes & Dujka (Julia) (Atlogic) Kirkes
  • High School and Class: 1942 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
    1947 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota - bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering
  • Highest Rank: SGT (Sergeant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In:
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Bronze Star

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Richard Mirko Kirkes
    Race: White
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: November 28, 1924
    Birth Place: Taconite, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Taconite, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: December 26, 1942
    Employer: Student - School - Superior, Douglas, Wisconsin
    Weight: 170
    Height: 6-2
    Complexion: Dark
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair Color: Black
    Other characteristics: Scar on left eye, scar on right forearm
    Next of Kin: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Kirkes

    Newspaper article: The Itasca Iron News, Coleraine, Minnesota - January 1945 – "Information from headquarters of the Air Forces in Europe direct to The Itasca Iron News said yesterday that Cpl. Richard M. Kirkes of Taconite was recently awarded a Bronze Star “for participation in the battle of Northern France.” He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Kirkes. The information said that “Cpl. Kirkes is the pilot’s right-hand man, a key man not only in flight, but responsible for the servicing and general care of the giant transport when it lands.” The plane, according to the same source, is a Douglas C-47."

    Richard served with the 8th Air Force in Europe and participated in D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Richard Kirkes married Elsie Erdel in 1954 in Minnesota. He retired from US Steel Corp. having worked in engineering, supervisory, and management positions. He was actively involved in community and civic affairs including numerous local, county, and state boards and previously served as the Mayor of Bovey. He was a 60-year member of Itasca Lodge #208 A.F. & A.M. of Grand Rapids.

    Richard died in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Coleraine, Minnesota (Serbian section). He is survived by his daughters, Merrie Ann Hesselroth, and Marcia Lange; sons, David and Bryan; four grandchildren; and a sister, Ellen Solomon. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sam & Julia Kirkes; his wife, Elsie in 1997; and two brothers, Dushan and Bernard.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):