Raymond Charles Care

Military

Object Number - UPL 13506 - Captain Raymond C Care during his time with the 334th Fighter Squadron (XP).

Captain Raymond Clare was from Angola, Indiana, and had enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force before the United States' entry into the war. He arrived in England in March 1942 and was assigned to No. 71 Eagle Squadron of Americans in the RAF before transferring to the 4th Fighter Group, 334th Squadron upon its inception.
He bagged an Me109 on 26 June 1943 flying on P-47D Serial 42-7981, before being involved in that same P-47 in a taxiing accident at Debden on 27 July 1943. Flying on P-47D Serial 41-6392 on 28 July 1943, he shot down one Fw190. On the 16 August 1943 bomber escort mission, he claimed 2 Fw190s destroyed North of Paris. That mission and the American fighter pilots were featured in the 1 November 1943 issue of LIFE Magazine's "Speaking of Pictures" section, with a photo on page 20 of Ray Care and the gun camera photos of his 2 kills that day .
Ray Care's fifth confirmed kill occurred on the 21 February 1944 bomber escort mission when he shot down another Fw190, attaining Ace status, with a later other probable hit to his credit.
On 15 April 1944 he was leading the 4th Fighter Group on an operation to the Jüterbog-Damm Airfield, Luftwaffe training school and depot in Germany when bad weather forced the group to split up into small sections. These sections then attacked three different airfields in small groups. Captain Care and 1st Lt. Hipolitus T. Biel attacked an unidentified field northeast of Celle and shared in the destruction of a Ju-52. Care's plane was hit by flak and he had to bail out, thus becoming the third Commanding Officer of the 334th Fighter Squadron to be lost in a month.
In the Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 4061 - Lt Biel stated that "At approximately 13:45 hours Captain Care and myself were coming home on the deck N.E. of Celle, Germany, when we came to an airdrome with 20 plus JU-52 aircraft on it. Without altering my course we picked out a JU-52 and started to fire. In the meanwhile the Huns were throwing up intense and accurate medium flak, light flak, and machine gun tracers. I received a few holes in the right wing at the same time Captain Care got hit. He called immediately to say he was climbing up and bailing out. I watched him climb to 3,000 feet with his plane streaming glycol. He called and said, "here I go". I looked for his chute to open but due to rain, and sleet in that vicinity I failed to see him or a parachute opening. I believe that Captain Care bailed out safely."
On landing, Raymond Care was immediately picked up by the German authorities near Celle. He was later placed in solitary confinement in an interrogation centre (Dulag Luft, Oberursel, near Frankgurt) for a week on a bread-and-water diet. After interrogation, he was transferred to a permanent camp, Stalag Luft 3 in Sagan, Poland.
In January 1945, the Russians broke out of the Warsaw area and were nearing the camp, so the Germans decided to move the prisoners out rather than have Soviet forces free them. With one hour of notice, Ray, along with all the other prisoners were force marched for the next five days.
Later on the prisoners were transported to Nuremberg, where they were moved into an ex-Italian camp. Conditions were dreadful, with only two taps for the 450 men in the three barracks.
By April, the American Army was approaching, so the prisoners were moved once again - this time towards Munich. Ray and three of his comrades managed to slip away one night in an effort to make it to the American lines. After about three more nights walking and sleeping during the daytime, Ray and the rest were exhausted. They were subsequently recaptured and were part of another march southward. After three more days marching, the German officer in charge of the group decided to surrender to American forces in the area.
Raymond Care and his friends got to Paris for a couple of days and then he returned to England at his new base of Steeple Morden. Ray retired from the USAF as a Colonel in 1963 with the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf clusters and the air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. He then worked in Civil Service at Kelly Air Base, Texas, until retiring. He died in San Antonio in April 1987.

Connections

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Units served with

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 334th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-2044923, T-190642
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot

Aircraft

4th Fighter Group personnel beside P-47 Thunderbolt "Ill Wind?" at Debden, January 1944. The pilot of the aircraft was Captain Nicholas Megura of the 334th Fighter Squadron.
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Ill Wind? Old Red Ass
  • Unit: 366th Fighter Group 4th Fighter Group Base Air Depot 2 334th Fighter Squadron 389th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 495th Fighter Training Group 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron 552nd Fighter Training Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Angola, Indiana, USA 1918-03-30 the son of Charles F. and Celia P. Care

Other

Retired from service

Died

San Antonio, TX, USA 1987-04-03

Other

Prisoner of War (POW)

Żagań, Poland 1944-04-15 Captured near Celle, Germany, he spent almost a year at Stalag Luft 3. NARA's WWII POW database : "Returned to Military Control on 19/05/1945"

Buried

Ft Sam Houston Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas, United States

Revisions

Date25 Feb 2016 11:16:23
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

Association with individual Eagle Squadron.

Date30 Aug 2015 10:17:39
ContributorED-BB
Sources

Added photo

Date30 Aug 2015 10:10:45
ContributorED-BB
Sources

Added full middle name

Date30 Aug 2015 10:09:02
ContributorED-BB
Sources

MACR 4061
NARA WWII POW database
Biographical research

Date4 Mar 2015 21:16:27
Contributorapollo11
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date4 Mar 2015 20:25:18
Contributorapollo11
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:22:03
ContributorAAM
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 4061 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Raymond Charles Care: Gallery (5 items)