Raymond Helminiak served as a pilot with the 563rd Bomb Squadron of the 388th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Knettishall, England. He was Wounded in Action (WIA) in February 1945 when, after flying his shell-damaged aircraft back to the UK, it crash landed. His injuries grounded Helminiak for the rest of the war.
He retired from the Air Force Reserves in 1972 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Helminiak was one of the founding members of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and its first financial contributor. He was also a writer for many publications including the Milwaukee Journal, the Milwaukee Sentinel, Wisconsin Trails Magazine, Exclusively Yours Magazine.
In 1951, he had married Marilyn Moevs. They were together for 66 years, until Raymond's death in September 2017.
Read Ray's full obituary here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/jsonline/obituary.aspx?n=raymond-helmin...
Units served with
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...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Cheyenne 13/12/43; Kearney 30/12/43; Grenier 29/1/44; Assigned 563BS/388BG Knettishall 9/2/44; battle damaged Frankfurt 5/1/45 with Jim Ruether, Co-pilot: Ray Helminiak, Radio Operator: Ray Ward (3 RTD – all WIA); Navigator: H.W. Swanson,...
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...
||Milwaukee, WI, USA
||21 January 1925
||Mequon, WI, USA
||9 September 2017