Richard Spooner was living in Northern California when World War II broke out; he subsequently enlisted in the Marines at age 17 as a rifleman. Major Spooner participated in several operations during the war, including the Battle of Saipan, where he was briefly taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army. He also fought in the Battle of Okinawa. After the war, he was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant and eventually commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. During the Korean War, Spooner served in with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and also taught infantry tactics at Camp Pendleton. During his subsequent career, he commanded five companies and the Marine detachment aboard a heavy cruiser. By the time the Vietnam War broke out, Richard Spooner had achieved the rank of Major. During the war, he served in the Provost Marshal Division and as an adviser to the South Vietnamese police. Spooner retired from the Marine Corps in 1972.
Spooner has also written at least one book, “The Spirit of Semper Fidelis: Reflections From the Bottom of an Old Canteen Cup,” a historical novel about the Pacific War which is actually a personal memoir. He has been working on his second book for the past few years as well as his third one. He admits he has not been able to finish his second book because the third one is so interesting. He hopes to publish his second book in the summer of 2010.
In 1968, Richard Spooner opened the Globe and Laurel Restaurant which he described as “a pub for professional Marines”. The pub features a collection of military memorabilia, including an original Medal of Honor and Victoria Cross in the same case. When he retired, his wife Gloria helped convince him to turn it from a part-time hobby into a full-time job. The Globe and Laurel was originally located on Broadway Street in the town of Quantico, but in 1973 a fire gutted the original building. The Globe and Laurel subsequently reopened in the town of Triangle, just outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base Quantico. The Spooners and “The Globe and Laurel” have been featured on “War Stories” on the History Channel and the Food Network.