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William Dee Ritchie Jr.


Colonel Ritchie served in Vietnam and was Commander over several bases in Vietnam. He worked at the Pentagon and later retired in Hilton Head, SC.


Units served with

  • 365th Fighter Group

    365th Fighter Group

    The Group moved to England in December 1943 as part of the Ninth Air Force. Flying P-47s, the Group took part in missions over northern France designed to weaken Germany's ability to repulse the planned Allied invasion of summer 1944. After the...

  • 386th Fighter Squadron


Associated Place

  • Beaulieu

    Military site : airfield
    The first airfield site was near East Boldre, used before the First World War. A Royal Flying Corps and RAF station during the First World War, it was sold and dismantled from 1920-1924, though the land was used as a private airfield from 1933 to 1938....

  • 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...

  • Juvincourt

    Military site : airfield

  • Bretigny

    Military site : airfield

  • Azeville

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Born Pine Bluff, AR, USA 12 June 1919
Died Beaufort, SC, USA 18 March 1995

William D. Ritchie was born in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas. After graduation from Pine Bluff High School in 1936, he attended Arkansas A and M College in Monticello, Arkansas.

On April 28, 1941, he enlisted in the U S Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet and on December 12, 1941, entered the U.S. Army Air Corps. During World War II he served with the 386th Fighter Squadron, 365th Fighter Group. He received two World War II Victory Credits. As a member of the Hell Hawks, Major Ritchie flew 109 missions between August, 1943 and September 1945.

Decorations and awards received in World War II were: World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 bronze service star, America Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award with I silver oak leaf cluster, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 silver service star, Air Medal with 24 oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation.

Colonel David C. Schilling and Lt. Col. William D, Ritchie were directed by Letter Orders, Headquarters USAF to conduct a non-stop flight from Manston, England to New York by use of mid-air refueling to test the feasibility of the Probe-drogue system. The flight occurred on the 22nd of September 1950. Both pilots were flying F-84's.

Buried Beaufort, SC, USA 21 March 1995

Beaufort National Cemetery
Beaufort County
South Carolina, USA
Plot: 19, 0, 30


Date Contributor Update
27 July 2018 02:16:12 kriseand Changes to biography

Colonel Ritchie was my Uncle and my Mother's Brother.

Date Contributor Update
22 July 2016 20:47:35 466thHistorian Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, suffix, nickname, nationality, highest rank, role, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and media associations