Ralph K Patton


Shot down 5 January 1944 in B-17 42-31212. Evaded. Copies of telegrams and picture of boat pp. 119-121.

Ralph Patton's plane had been shot down over the Brest Peninsula - seven of the crew managed to bail out and were assisted by the French Underground. In May 1984 Patton visited with former members of the Resistance in the area who said they knew exactly where his B-17 had come down. Following an 'outstanding' lunch five carloads of happy Frenchmen and one lone curious American drove for twenty minutes to an old stone farmhouse. The farmer had collected a pile of aircraft parts every time he plough his fields, many of which Patton could identify. Finally in the barn he was shown the escape hatch door which had been thrown out of the plane. As far as he knows it is still there.

He founded the US Air Forces' Escape & Evasion Society.

Purple Heart; Air Medal


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Units served with

A bomber crew of the 94th Bomb Group stand with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30200) nicknamed "Slo Time Sally" and a bomb inscribed 'Special delivery to Hitler'. Inscription on bomb reads: 'Special delivery to Hitler, From Peggy of St. Louis.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 94th Bomb Group 331st Bomb Squadron


Event Location Date Description


Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 16 August 1920


Date18 Aug 2020 09:59:16
ChangesChanges to biography and aircraft associations

Biography completed by historian Helen Millgate. Information sourced from newsletters of the 94th Bomb Group related to the service of Ralph Patton.

Date27 Apr 2020 03:13:31
ChangesChanges to biography

Added a "-" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date10 Oct 2014 20:08:08
ChangesChanges to biography

Reported by his daughter Beverly Patton Wand

Date27 Sep 2014 18:21:50
ChangesAAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1890, Silent Heroes Among Us ISBN 1-884687-07-5 Interview pp. 118-121.