Our deepest gratitude to Dick Bentley and his family for sharing a wonderful life review that really touches on the universal truths of the meaning of life. Mr. Bentley tells us that it’s relationships with people that make the journey interesting and worthwhile. He is striking resemblance to Clint Eastwood. As Bentley tells his stories, we feel as though we have stepped into scenes from Eastwood’s Hollywood films. These are gems of wisdom from a man who so bravely served our country during World War II. Check out his life review video.
He also talks about how important his mother and grandfather were in building the man he is today. His grandfather travelled from England to America at just 17 years old in search of a new life. Likewise, Bentley turned out to be a wanderlust kid growing up in Minnesota with big dreams of one day living in a tropical paradise. At age 16, he hitchhiked to San Francisco and then made his way down to San Diego where he stowed away on a boat to Hawaii. He landed a job with Filipino migrant workers in the sugar cane fields. The sugar cane field foreman had a reputation for treating the migrant workers like slaves. One day, he tried to push Bentley, who was a very mild manner man. Finally, Bentley had enough, turned around, punched the foreman in the head and knocked him out. Everyone thought he was dead. Bentley rose to become a local hero and earned the name “One-Punch Bentley.”
He left the cane fields to work for a company that delivered oil to Pearl Harbor. On the morning of December 7, 1941, he didn’t deliver oil to harbor but he did see the Japanese planes flying so low that he could see the pilot. The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he returned to the mainland to become a pilot to fly in World War II. He flew 31 bombing missions from North Africa to Europe. On the last mission his plane crashed off the coast of Sicily, and he swam for two hours. And an Italian fisherman picked him up. He was taken to the Italian war quarters and became a prisoner of
war to the Germans. General George Patton liberated the prison camp. So Bentley recalled seeing the commander in action on the day of his freedom. After the war, Mr. Bentley became aerospace engineer and worked on the satellite that made the first transatlantic phone call a reality.
Some 25 years later when Mr. Bentley returned to Hawaii with his family, his daughter recalled the all the Filipinos running up to her father, who was a local legend. They were all cheering “One-Punch Bentley.” He will remain a local legend in Hawaii. And for us, Mr. Bentley will be forever remembered for serving country and giving us gems of wisdom.