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Biographies

PFC Ralph LeGrow

A family tradition of Army Aviation: COL (Ret.) Ralph W. LeGrow, Army rotary wing [Chinook] aircraft pilot, was buried 29Aug2017 at Arlington National Cemetery near the grave of his uncle and namesake, PFC Ralph LeGrow of the 449th, who was KIA 13Apr1944. Another nephew of PFC LeGrow, Lt. Arthur Russell LeGrow Jr., Army rotary wing aircraft pilot, died in Vietnam 14Jan1967.

Maryanne LeGrow
Willington, CT USA

Sgt. James H. Stevenson

My father died when I was 7 and I have never heard much of his experiences n the Army. Nor of the ww2 experiences. Any help with this would be a life changing experience.

Tammy Stevenson Vargas
Bountiful, Utah

 

1 Lt. Bruce R. Bryan

My dad’s plane the Easy Queen was the lost A/C on the bombing run on 08/29/1944. Eleven on board and eleven survived. Most were POW’s at Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany. Bruce R. Bryan (pilot) also my dad was and will always will be “My Hero”

Lee Bryan

Allen Park, MI

1st Lt. Leon L. Ogurek

My Father was in Squadron 719, flew as navigator on Pudgy II, piloted by David Councill, and died in a crash on Dec 8, 1943 reportedly in the Atlas Mountains. I was 6 months old.

I would welcome any information about him (apparently listed as Leo on log), or any details about his career or the crash.

Leon Ogurek Holmes

Irvine California

T/Sgt Lucien G. Fugere

Lucien enlisted in the Air Corps in 1941 at the age of 20. He was trained as a photographer. His squadron was the 717th. He was promoted to Staff Sgt. He flew 33 missions as an aerial photographer. He was shot down on May 5 1944 and was a POW for 4 months. He returned stateside. Lou, as he is affectionately known, continued his career with the military as a photographer. He retired in 1964 after a 26 year career with the Air Force. Lou has been a proud member of the 449th attending the first reunion in Tucson Arizona. Lou is doing well at 95 and continues to follow the 449th Newsletter.

Cyndi Fugere

San Francisco, CA

Sgt. John R. Allen, Jr.

wwii soldiers medal presentation

Sgt. John R. “Doc” Allen recieving the Soldier’s Medal

Sgt. John R. Allen Jr. served as a medic for the 716th Squadron and as Lab Technician for HQs and the 716th. He flew to Grottaglie with the original crews in order to set up medic stations.

He and two other medics from the 716th were awarded the Soldier’s Medal for the rescue of six crew members of a British plane that crashed on take off. They went into the burning plane six times, removing a crew member each trip. Three of the British crew members survived because of the bravery of the American medics.

Alan R. Davis
Chillicothe, Ohio

Lt. Richard Lent

Lt. Richard Lent

Lt. RW Lent and crew, probably Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, spring of 1944

My late father, Richard Lent (10/25/1921 – 4/22/2015), served in the 15thAF, 449th Bomb Group from June 1944 – October 13, 1944. He was a navigator, and was serving in that capacity on the Nancy Jane #2 (Mealey), which went down over Yugoslavia following a mission to Vienna. He parachuted out, broke both legs on landing, and was eventually carried out by Tito’s partisans to Vis, where he was evacuated back to Bari and the hospital there. He spent over a year recovering from his injuries at home in New Paltz, NY, where he became a local lawyer and raised a family. His experiences in WWII were always part of our family’s narrative while growing up, and remained a central part of his life experience for the rest of his long life.

I believe his aircraft carried Flight Surgeon Major Leslie Caplan on that mission.

I have unearthed a lot of memorabilia from his time in the service — images, paperwork, letters, clippings, and more, plus a detailed narrative of his last mission and rescue from German-held territory. I hope others might fill in some details of his narrative, and that his information might help others.

Ryck Lent
Waltham, MA

W. K. Dorton

W. K. Dorton

Dorton, William K., Age 98. Resident of Cincinnati, OH, originally from Bluefield, West Virginia. Passed away Sunday, February 12, 2017. A proud Air Force veteran who served in the 15th Air Corp, 449th Bombing Group in WWII. He touched the lives of many and recently became known as “Mr. Bill” to his wonderful group of Visiting Angels and Wellington at North Bend Crossing caregivers. Preceded in death by his wife, Agnes Dunman Dorton and his brothers, Richard P. Dorton and Joseph W. Dorton. He is survived by many family and friends including his nephew, C.W. (Bill) DeWert (Lindy), his niece, Elizabeth D. Galloway (Barnie), and his great friends, Bonnie & Doug Wiesner, Tom, Cindy, Aimee & TJ Kathman. Per Bill’s request, “services” were held with Bill as he was amongst friends and family on the day he passed. Contributions in his honor may be made to Queen City Hospice, 8250 Kenwood Crossing Way, Suite 200, C incinnati, OH 45236 or Zion United Methodist Church, 4980 Zion Rd., Cleves, OH 45002

C.W. DeWert (nephew)
Cairo, Georgia