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Ralph S Bryant


Shot down 29 April 1944 in B-24 41-28764. Plane ditched in North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA).

When asked about the saddest event that he remembered from his tour with the 466th BG, William Lakeman, a pilot in the 786th BS stated; "The loss of Captain Ralph Bryant on a mission that our crew didn't go on. He landed a crippled plane in the Channel and was helping others to safety when he keeled over dead, we were told. We had called him the "scout master" and snickered behind his back. Not until he was dead did we realize what a leader he had been. I went to his burial service at Cambridge."


Units served with

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 466th Bomb Group

    466th Bomb Group

    The 466th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Attlebridge, Norfolk, during the last year of the war in Europe. The Group flew 232 missions in the course of the year and celebrated the 100th one by inviting local people onto the base to mark the...

  • 564th Bomb Squadron
  • 786th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-28764

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 564BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Berlin, generator problems soon after take off compromised electrical system, on return leg noted fuel shortage, preparations for ditching carried out. Plane ditched in North Sea. 7...

Associated Place

  • Attlebridge

    Military site : airfield
    Attlebridge was constructed for RAF use and completed to that standard in 1942. However, with news that it was to be assigned to the American Air Force, the runways were extended and additional hardstandings and outbuildings constructed for the heavy...

  • Hethel

    Military site : airfield
    Construction of Hethel airfield began in 1941, and was finished in late 1942. The number of hardstandings was increased from the planned 36 to 50 in 1942, in order to accommodate a full heavy bomb group. The 320th Bomb Group occupied the base for ten...


Event Location Date
Born Georgia, USA 1915
Lived in Marion, SC, USA 1941
Enlisted Atlanta, GA, USA 12 July 1941
Killed in Action (KIA) North Sea 29 April 1944

Captain Ralph S. Bryant Squadron Operations Officer - Command Pilot 466th BG - 786th BS KIA 29 April 1944 when the 389th BG a/c he was flying in as command pilot, B-24H-15-DT 41-28764, was forced to ditch in the North Sea. After helping every crew member exit the aircraft, he stepped into the rescue boat and collapsed dead, presumably from exposure/hypothermia.

Buried May 1944

Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Cambridgeshire, England
Plot: Plot A Row 5 Grave 32


Date Contributor Update
07 June 2016 02:25:05 466thHistorian Changes to service number, biography and events

written interview with William Lakeman
466th BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
21 October 2015 12:05:42 general ira snapsorter Changes to role, biography, events and unit associations

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from :
Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;
MACR 5473;
466th BG Historian;
Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2014 20:10:44 466thHistorian Changes to events

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2014 20:10:09 466thHistorian Changes to role, unit associations and place associations

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:53 AAM AAM ingest

MACR 5473 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database