Photo caption: Capt. Richard Luttrell in a 2015 Osage News photo and Luttrell as a young man during his military service. Osage News
The Osage Nation mourned the passing of WWII Veteran Capt. Richard Luttrell by lowering all flags on the Nation’s campus to half-staff on May 10.
Capt. Luttrell began his military career after graduating from the Oklahoma Military Academy with honors before joining the armed forces. Luttrell served during WWII with the 45th Infantry where he was trained as a rifleman and later promoted to Captain of the U.S. Infantry. After WWII, Luttrell joined the National Guard and was deployed to the Korean War where he served with the 180th Infantry Regiment and commanded 300 soldiers. He served with many infantry units as a squad leader, platoon sergeant, leader and commanding officer and was a captain at the time of his honorable discharge following 12 years of service.
Luttrell also served as a board member on the Nation’s Osage Veterans Memorial Commission who was responsible for the design and structure of the Nation’s Osage Veterans Memorial, a beautiful tribute to the Nation’s fallen warriors.
Luttrell was honored at the AARP 10th Annual Indian Elder Honors in October of 2018. He was 91 years old at the time of his honoring. Information shared by AARP at the event said after Luttrell left military service, he later created Running RL Outfitters and managed both the business and the outfitting of the first commercial river rafting company on the Colorado River in Colorado. Running RL Outfitters encompassed big game hunting, camps for families, trail rides and other outdoor activities. Luttrell also served as a Boone and Crocket guide. During the off-season, he worked as a pipefitter and welder with Union 208 on missile bases, commercial and nuclear plants in Denver, Colorado. Luttrell spent his personal time as a pack leader, committee member and associate with the Boy Scouts and scouted officially and unofficially for approximately 17 years in Denver. He was a member of the Denver chapter of the Knights of Columbus and was a Deputy Grand Knight, 3rd Degree. Luttrell had a moment on the national screen when he starred in a Super Bowl commercial for Schlitz Beer Company commercial, acting as a rider in a buffalo chase.
Luttrell has been a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kiwanis Club, American Legion and Oklahoma Fly Fisherman’s Club. Luttrell has received many awards and honors throughout his life, including an international award in Montreal, Canada, for conducting a camp for special needs children through the Industrial Kiwanis Club. He was inducted into the St. Maurice Infantry Organization as a member and honored by the Gray Horse War Mothers. Luttrell has served on the boards of the Osage County Housing Authority, MESA Medical Company and Osage Veterans Memorial Commission. Luttrell was a key leader in the planning and execution of the building of a shrine in Pawhuska honoring St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Roman Catholic Church’s first Native American saint.
Luttrell and his wife, Carmelita, have been married since 1947. They have four children and six grandchildren.