Ralph was born in Georgia on October 22, 1922. He enlisted in the Army on June 5, 1942 at Fort McPherson, Georgia. His service number was 14119900. He married Opal Lee Moore in Louisiana in November 1942. He attended aerial gunnery training at Tyndall, Florida. As an aircrew member in 719th Squadron, 449th Bomb Group Heavy, 15th Air Force, he departed for Grotagilie, Italy on January 19, 1945 arriving in Italy on January 27, 1945. He was a member of Toiro J. Rosander Crew. He departed Italy on May 15, 1945 for the US arriving May 25, 1945. Ralph was discharged on October 16, 1945 at Sioux Falls AAF, SD. Ralph (my father) passed away in Houston, TX in 1989 and is buried in Chatham County, Georgia. Ralph never talked much about his experiences during the war, but the one story I remember is one in which he received a wound in his lip during a mission. He told me that it was so cold that it did not bleed much and that he sewed it up with a needle and thread. Ralph was a Sargent at his discharge. I would appreciate any contact from others who may have know Ralph and/or information about missions he flew and the aircraft in which he flew.
Ronald R Anderson
L.D. Sies, Jr. was the original pilot of the Peerless Clipper. The “Clipper” was a B-24H flown to Grottaglie on 2 January 1944. The Sies Crew reportedly flew 25 sorties over Eastern Europe and then volunteered for the OSS and flew an additional 25 sorties. The “Clipper” after being reassigned to the Kury crew was lost over Austria on 2 April 1944 due to a midair collision with two other aircraft. The Kury crew was lost along with the crews of the other two B-24’s. Captain Sies was promoted to Major. Shortly there after he flew a P-51 Mustang under a bridge in Chattanooga, TN and at discharge he was again a Captain.
David B. Pope
Moneta, VA, USA
Original 449th BG, 717th squadron right waist gunner on Samuelson’s crew Cinnsy’s Margie (42-7723). He was credited with 50 missions flying out of Grottaglie mostly on Cinnsy’s Margie.
This picture of Cinnsy’s Margie was purchased from someone in the UK.
Lewes, DE, USA
He was in the 719th. We have his mission summary, and several commendations. He was a navigator on what we believed to be Sleepy Time Gal. However I’m not sure that’s accurate as there were 2 Sleepy Time Gals. #1 went down before he got to Europe, and #2 went down when he was in a navigator school Dec 26 44 to early Feb 45.
He had 35 sorties and completed 51 missions.
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.
Willington, CT USA
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