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Ralph W Holcombe


Fell out of formation after bombing target at Diepholz, GR on 21 Feb 1944 with trouble in two engines and unable to feather the props in B-17GSH #42-30280 'Crazy Horse' of 482BG/812BS. Later attacked by FW190 and crashed in lake IJsselmeer near Ermelo/Harderwijk, the Netherands. Killed in Action (KIA).

1Lt. Holcombe kept a/c in level flight to allow crew to bale out, all bailed out over land, 1LT Holcombe landed in the water and drowned. He was washed ashore on 3 May 1944 near Bunschoten. He was first burried in Amersfoort at cemetery 'Rusthof' and moved to the American cemetery at Margraten on 11 March 1946.

AM w/Oak Leaf Cluster


Units served with

  • 482nd Bomb Group

    482nd Bomb 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...

  • 812th Bomb Squadron


  • 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...


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

H, r16, gr.4


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

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

Cees Steijger

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

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

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