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Ralph W Holcombe

Military

Fell out of formation after bombing target at Diepholz, GR on 21 Feb 1944 with trouble in one engine just before bombing and unable to feather the prop B-17GSH #42-30280 'Crazy Horse' of 482BG/812BS fell behind. The Boeing was attached by Fw 190 of Sturmstaffel 1. Ball gunner Henri Raemer shot the fighter down. Later another engine fell out, yet again the prop couldn't be feathered. B-17 42-30280 crashed in lake IJsselmeer near Horst/Ermelo the Netherlands. Killed in Action (KIA).

1Lt. Holcombe kept a/c in level flight to allow the crew to bale out, all bailed out over land between Vierhouten and Ermelo.1LT Holcombe landed in the water and drowned. He was found by a Tijmen de Graaf fisherman of Bunschoten on April 28th, 1944. He was first buried in Amersfoort at the cemetery 'Rusthof' and moved to the American cemetery at Margraten on 11 March 1946, section H, row 6, grave 4.

AM w/Oak Leaf Cluster

Service

Units served with

  • 482nd Bomb Group

    482nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 482nd Bomb Group was a Pathfinder Group, which using radar-equipped aircraft to support bombing missions until March 1944. Aircraft from this Group went ahead of other Bombers and sent information back about the best routes to take and the extent...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 412th Bomb Squadron
  • 812th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-30280 Crazy Horse

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Boeing (by land) 17/6/43 (H2X); Wright Fd 5/7/43; Rome 21/7/43; Patterson 3/8/43; Kansas City 8/8/43; Gd Island 22/9/43; Assigned 812BS/482BG [MI-L] Alconbury 30/9/43; Missing in Action Brunswick 21/2/44 with Capt Gerald Binks (Com P, evd....

Associated Place

  • Alconbury

    Military site : airfield
    Alconbury had been constructed as a satellite airfield for RAF Upwood and Wyton and was used by RAF Squadrons: Nos. 15, 40 and 156. In preparation for the arrival of American heavy bombers, the base was developed in 1942 with the runways extended. When...

Events

Event Location Date
Lived in North Carolina, USA 1941
Died 21 February 1944
Buried 11 April 1946

H, r16, gr.4

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 May 2020 08:31:02 CeesSteijger Changes to biography
Sources

Typo

Date Contributor Update
03 May 2020 08:30:30 CeesSteijger Changes to unit associations
Sources

Book Crazy Horse

Date Contributor Update
03 May 2020 08:26:38 CeesSteijger Changes to awards
Sources

Book Crazy Horse

Date Contributor Update
03 May 2020 08:24:34 CeesSteijger Changes to biography
Sources

Crazy Horse - by Cees Steijger. ISBN: 978-90-826.329-0-3 (Dutch)

Date Contributor Update
24 July 2017 16:05:47 Lucy May Changes to biography and events
Sources

https://abmc.gov/node/531915#.WXYanhuWzcs

Date Contributor Update
26 September 2016 11:24:58 CeesSteijger Changes to biography
Sources

Cees Steijger

Date Contributor Update
26 December 2015 11:13:09 CeesSteijger Changes to biography and events
Sources

Research by Cees Steijger author of 'Crazy Horse - a good day to fight, a good day to die' about the crash of 42-30280 in former lake IJsselmeer (scheduled to be published summer 2016).

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:54 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2470, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces & page 24 in HISTORY OF THE OPERATIONAL PERIOD OF THE 482nd BOMBARDMENT GROUP, D790.G482.M6, 1944

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