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Joseph A DeRidder


Killed in Action (KIA) 31 July 1944 Shot down by flak and crashed at Schleissheim in B-17 Devil's Luck #4232030

AM w/ 4 Oak Leaf Cluster/ PH

1st Lieut. Joseph A. DeRidder, 24, son of Mr. & Mrs. Alfons Charles DeRidder, Norway, & husband of Mrs. Lucille DeRidder, 1112 West B Street, lost his life July 31 during an American bombing raid over Munich, Germany, his wife as informed in a telegram receive last night from the United States War Department.
He had previously been reported missing. The young Lieut. Had completed 23 missions & had 12 more to go. He was a crew member of a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber which participated in a combat mission. The planes were subjected to enemy anti-aircraft fire over the target & his plane sustained damage.
On a previous mission in the Beauvoir section of France, the bomber on which he was a co-pilot was hit by a missile from a ground-rocket, starting a fire in the cockpit. DeRidder beat out the flames with his bare hands until the pilot reached a lower altitude & then, with the aid of the gunner, found a fire extinguisher.
DeRidder had been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievements during bombing missions over enemy territory; 3 Oak Leaf Clusters & a Presidential Citation.
Born in Norway, Mich., the young man attended public schools &was employed at DeRidder’s Market before he joined the Armed Forces.
He entered the service in Feb. 1943. After basic training & aviation school he graduate Dec. 5, `943 & was commissioned a 2nd Lieut & received his co-pilot’s license. He left for overseas Feb. 1944.



  • James Biggs

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer | 388th Bomb Group

  • Ora Castrup

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by flak and crashed at Schleissheim in B-17 Devil's Luck #4232030

  • Kenneth McFarlane

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Successfully landed plane with engines, landing gear and side shot out. No casualties. Ted Malone, war correspondent, interviewed crew and broadcast program to US families. Flew total of 42 missions DFC;, Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Clusters

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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...

  • 561st Bomb Squadron


  • 42-32030 Devil's Luck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/1/44; Gr Island 4/2/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 11/2/44; Missing in Action Munich 31/7/44 with Ora Castrup, Co-pilot: Joe DeRidder, Navigator: Harvey Dellward, Bombardier: Chester Pluta, Flight engineer/top turret gunner:...

Associated Place


Event Location Date
Born Norway, MI, USA 31 March 1917
Lived in Iron Mountain, MI, USA 1942
Died Schleissheim palace complex, 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany 31 July 1944

KIA when his aircraft took a direct flak hit and exploded. There was only one survivor.

Buried 1945

Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial • Saint-Avold, Departement de la Moselle, Lorraine, France
Plot Plot D Row 30 Grave 35


Date Contributor Update
24 February 2018 04:50:06 466thHistorian Changes to biography and events

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2018 14:35:18 Lucy May Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
21 February 2018 14:33:54 Lucy May Changes to events, person associations and place associations

Brought in information from duplicate record. Sources:
Jayna DeRidder-Huotari, granddaughter
MACR 7744 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Date Contributor Update
04 February 2016 14:00:45 Jaynahoots Changes to awards, place associations and aircraft associations

Source: Jayna DeRidder-Huotari, granddaughter of Joseph A. DeRidder

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:03 AAM AAM ingest

ABMC MACR 7744 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia