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Ray Theodore Wilken Jr.


Shot down 6 September 1943 in B-17 #42-30349, Killed in Action (KIA).

On Sep 6, 1943, his B-17, "Patricia", was badly shot up by enemy fighters. He was severely wounded and burned but after keeping the aircraft aloft to allow his crew to bail out, he himself managed to bail out. Unfortunately, a propellor of his falling aircraft caught his parachute on its way down and dragged him down to his death.



  • Eugene Cordes

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group

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Units served with

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb 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


  • 42-30212 Quarterback

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 14/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 16/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 17/6/43; transferred Aphrodite project, Missing in Action V-sites, Watten 6/8/44 with Lt Joeseph P Andrecheck & T/Sgt Raymond Healy (2...

  • 42-30349

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/5/43; Smoky Hill 2/6/43; Grand Isle 4/6/43; Dow Fd 27/6/43; Assigned 563BS/388BG Knettishall 1/7/43; Missing in Action Stuttgart 6/9/43 with Ray Wilkin, Vic Sanders, Bombardier: Carl Johnson, Flight engineer/top turret gunner:...

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...


Event Location Date
Born New York State 20 October 1920
Died Montgueux 6 September 1943
Buried Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial


Date Contributor Update
10 May 2020 17:14:40 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a "-" to the A/C serial # in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date Contributor Update
02 April 2020 08:37:08 Michelbe Changes to suffix and events


Date Contributor Update
15 May 2018 11:41:07 Lucy May Changes to place associations and aircraft associations

Bringing in source from duplicate record:
Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /

Date Contributor Update
15 May 2018 11:13:12 Lucy May Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
15 May 2018 01:53:15 Bombay Changes to middlename, biography and awards


Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:22:00 AAM AAM ingest

ABMC, MACR 2409 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia