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Richard P Rice


Richard P Rice was born in Gillespie, IL in 1924. He moved with his family to Bragg City, MO in 1929. He attended Missouri Military Academy, Mexico, MO graduating in 1942. He volunteered and was accepted into the USAAF Aviation Cadets program shortly after and reported for Pre-flight soon afterwards. He earned his wings flying Boeing/Stearman PT-17 Kaydets, Vultee BT-13/15 Valiant/Vibrators, Beech AT-10, Cessna AT-17/US-78s/Curtis AT-9s. He was assigned to be a B-24 First Pilot. In late 1944 he and his crew shipped over on the Il de France to England where they were assigned to the 853rd Bomb Squadron, 491st Bomb Group. He flew 4 missions as co-pilot before taking his own crew into combat in early 1945. While they flew a number of different aircraft, they were ultimately assigned -V the "Modest Maiden". They were hit by flak and landed at Manston Emgernecy base following the 24 March 1945 Wesel resupply mission due to hydraulic failure. The airplane was destroyer when a damaged Lancaster bomber crashed into the B-24 later that day (not the next day as related elsewhere). He completed 21 missions before the war ended.

After the war, Dick Rice continued flying, becomoing a agricultural pilot (cropduster) in Southeast Missouri on the family farm. He continued in aviation as both a pilot and Airframe and Powerplant mechanic until his retirement in 1990. He passed away of natural casues in his sleep on 22 September 2000.



  • James Brown

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 491st Bomb Group
    1st Lieutenant James W. Brown was born August 11, 1924, the son of Carl P. Brown. He had a sister, Agnes Ida Smith. His hometown was Albuquerque, New Mexico. ...

  • Jack Chapman

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Nose gunner | 491st Bomb Group
    Born 26 June 1925 Died Freeport, Illinois 1 June 2008.

  • Robert Hacker

    Military | Navigator | 491st Bomb Group

  • Dwight Hoff

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Engineer / Top Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
    Born in Wauneta, Nebraska in 1925. Entered service July 3, 1943. Served with the Rice Crew in the 491st BG at North Pickenham, flying 16+ missions (several unrecorded, volunteering with alternate crews lacking an engineer). Returned to Wauneta...

  • Edward Levack

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 491st Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) near Wesel in B-24 #42-50749

  • William Melaun

    Military | Co-Pilot | 491st Bomb Group

  • Richard Rinto

    Military | Tail Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
    Member of the Richard P. Rice crew of the Modest Maiden. Worked in railroad industry following the war. Attended several crew reunions prior to his death.

  • Ray Roberts

    Military | Corporal | Left Waist Gunner | 491st Bomb Group

  • Ray Snook

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 491st Bomb Group
    Flew 17 combat missions Air Medal w 1/Oak Leaf Cluster; EAME Ribbonw 3/bronze stars; Good Conduct Medal; American Theator

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Units served with

  • 491st Bomb Group

    491st Bomb Group

    The 491st Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators in bombing missions over northern France and Germany from June 1944 until April 1945. Missions over Germany included bombing the headquarters of the German General Staff at Zossen. The Group was awarded a DUC...

  • 853rd Bomb Squadron


  • 44-40239 Flying Jackass

    B-24 Liberator

  • 44-40239 Flying Jackass

    B-24 Liberator
    "On a second mission the same day, 2nd Lt. Richard P. Rice returned over the U.K. with THE FLYING JACKASS (44-40239) badly shot up and the hydraulic system out. He landed at Marston without incident, but the next day a Lancaster came down on top of the...

  • 42-95264 Modest Maiden

    B-24 Liberator
    Aircraft was originally assigned to 492nd Bomb Group with associated black diagonal tail stripes. After conversion of the 492nd to a "Carpet Bagger" unit, 42-95264 was transferred to the 491st BG and further assigned to the 853rd Bomb Squadron with...


Associated Place

  • Manston

    Military site : airfield
    Built for Royal Naval Air Service use in the First World War, it was both an RAF and Fleet Air Arm base from 1918-50, and after the war a USAF Strategic Air Command base from 1950-51, a United States Air Forces Europe base from 1950-58, an RAF station...

  • North Pickenham

    Military site : airfield
    Built comparatively late during 1943-44 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, North Pickenham was rather cramped as an airfield site so the main runway was shorter than typical. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2...


Event Location Date
Born Gillespie, IL 62033, USA 13 February 1924

Parents: Roscoe and Almena Rice

Died Bragg City, MO 63827, USA 22 September 2000

Died of natural causes 9/22/2000

Buried Bragg City, Missouri


Date Contributor Update
27 July 2016 21:15:29 JimRice85 Changes to nickname, biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Information provide by Jim Rice, son of Richard P. Rice

Date Contributor Update
05 March 2015 13:04:36 Timothy McKeown Changes to unit associations

Ringmasters: The 491st Bombardment Group (H). Dallas: Taylor Publishing Co. (1992).

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:22:44 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Page 386 in the book 2ND AIR DIVISIONby Turner Publishing Company, 1998 edition (D790.A2S45) / roster