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Ralph Thadus May

Military

Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202. Prisoner of War (POW).

Service

People

  • Donald Boyd

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202. Initially evaded with the help of Belgian citizens and members of the Résistance. Sheltered in many places, notably in Antwerp and Brussels, he was caught in a trap and arrested by the Gestapo on 4 September...

  • Robert Hoke

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202. Initially evaded, captured 15 April 1944 in Antwerp. Prisoner of War (POW). See the story of his evasion and capture at https://www.evasioncomete.be/fhokerj.html

  • Billy Hooker

    Military | Flight Officer | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202. Evaded (EVD). See the story of his evasion at https://www.evasioncomete.be/fhookerwj.html

  • Orville Lewis

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Harlan Oakberg

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Earl Pickard

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Earl Pickard was a Pilot in the 388th Bomb Group/563rd Bomb Squadron. Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202. Prisoner of War (POW). He remained in the Air Force and was posted to different bases, including in Japan in the 1950s. Ended his career...

  • Wallace Soderberg

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202 Initially evaded in Belgium. Captured 4 September 1943 in France. Prisoner of War (POW). See the story of his evasion and capture at https://www.evasioncomete.be/fsoderbwn.html

  • Walter Togel

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Sam Tucker

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30202. Prisoner of War (POW).

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Units served with

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 563rd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-30202

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 11/5/43; Dow Fd 18/6/43; Assigned 563BS/388BG Knettishall. Missing in Action Kassel 3 July 1943. Pilot : Earl E. Pickard, Navigator Robert J. Hoke, Bombardier Wallace N. Soderberg, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 80

    30 July 1943
    The aircraft factories at Kassel, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. The mission is flown by two elements of B-17s which attack 15 minutes apart. The firts element is a combined force of 119 B-17s from: 91BG (20); 303BG (23); 351BG (21);...

Associated Place

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...

Events

Event Location Date
Born 13 March 1907

Alamance County, North Carolina, United States

Enlisted 22 July 1942

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Bailed out 30 July 1943

from 42-30202, over Belgium

Prisoner of War (POW) 30 July 1943 – May 1945

captured and interned at Stalag XVIIB in Braunau, near Krems, Austria. NARA WWII POW records : "returned to Military Control 9 July 1945."

Buried 1995

Ralph May rests at the Alamance National Cemetery in Burlington, North Carolina

Died 4 January 1995

McLeansville, North Carolina

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 January 2020 15:52:40 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, role, biography, events, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 3125
NARA WWII Enlistment recods
NARA WWII POW records
Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File
Personal research for 42-30202 and its crew for Tail Gunner Donald Boyd's page at http://www.evasioncomete.org/fboyddm.html

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:54 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 3125 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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