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Ralph C Jenkins

Military

Ralph C. Jenkins: Was a 25 year old Flight Commander flying Thunderbolt fighters in the 510th Squadron, 405th Group 9th Air Force. Became Squadron Commander and flew 129 combat missions beginning on D-Day Normandy. After airfield estabished in Picauville near St Mere Eglise by demolishing an apple orchard on June 29th 1944, laying down tar paper on the grass.He remained there until 11th September 1944 and was happy when Germans left Cherbourg airfied so Thunderbolt squadrons could land on concrete runway.Almost all of his airborne missions were against the German Army and the roads , railroads, canals and airfields used by them.

They of course dealt with the Luftwaffe when the opportunity presented itself, but, by this time it was a much weakened force. German anti-aircraft fire made their missions extremely dangerous ! Some of the most severe casulties we suffered were launched from Picauville. They would initiate their attack from about 5000ft and ceased firing while they were literally at tree top level. Four of his fellow pilots Ralph believes are now buried at the American Cemetary:
2nd Lt William E. Varnes, Lt Col Bruce F. Parcell, 2nd Lt Clifford B. Russell and 1st Lt Benjamin F. Savage.

Ralph remembers attending their burial in a virgin field at that time. He understands that today it is now a most beautiful tribute to those who fell there.

When Lt Col Parcell was killed in action near St Lo, Ralph was given command of the 510th Fighter Squadron and retained that position at St Dizier France, Ophoven Belgium, and Kitzingen Germany until VE Day on May 8th 1945.
Retired as Col in Aug. 1968 and sadly passed away at 98 in May of 2017.
P-47D s/n 44-33133 2Z+T "Tallahssee Lassie"

Service

People

  • Bruce Parcell

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Commanding Officer | 405th Fighter Group
    Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters

  • Clifford Russell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | pilot | 405th Fighter Group
    Clifford B. Russell was born in Bozeman, Montana and raised in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940 from Portland, Oregon. He received his wings at the 63rd A.A.F. Flying Training Detachment in Georgia in Nov., 1943 and was...

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Units served with

  • 405th Fighter Group

    405th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 405th Fighter Group was a fighter bomber unit of the United States Army Air Force in World War II. They group flew P-47 Thunderbolts in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) starting with the buildup to the Invasion of Normandy ("D-Day") through...

  • 510th Fighter Squadron

Associated Place

  • Christchurch

    Military site : airfield
    The original Christchurch Airport operated from 1935-39, and the airfield was used by the RAF from 1939 to 1941. It was the site of the Airspeed Aircraft factiry from 1940 to 51. Christchurch was developed for USAAF use in 1943, and the Ninth Air Force...

  • Saint-Dizier

    Military site : airfield

  • Picauville

    Military site : airfield

  • Ophoven

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2018 02:00:10 fugari Changes to biography
Sources

JCook Photo Collection & Arhives

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2018 01:55:39 fugari Changes to service number, highest rank, role, biography, awards, unit associations and place associations
Sources

JCook Photo Collection & Arhives

Date Contributor Update
23 December 2017 02:52:45 Mdala Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, person associations, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Acquired by David E. Huntley from Ralph C. Jenkins for my book and web site.
Other pictures courtesy of Ms Lucille Blood widow Lt Colonel Arlie Blood

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