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Orvil L Burwell


August 1944-EOW; /Ray/; P-51D-15-NA PI-D 44-14973 /Lady Doris/

Ray Burwell and Andy Andrino enlisted at the same time and went through basic, preflight and primary flight training together. In primary flight training they met and became friends with Bill Crump and the three stuck together all the way to Martlesham Heath.

Cadet Class 44-B, Basic at Goodfellow Field in San Angelo, TX, Advanced at Moore Field, Mission, TX; in England from 7/44-11/45; flew P-47s & P-51s in 69 missions, 305 combat hours; crash landed at Manston RAF Station after being shot over Holland during the Holland Invasion, P-47 engine quit due to loss of oil, view obstructed by oil so opened canopy & touchdowned looking out, hit runway, rt. gear collapsed & propellor hit, plane full of holes, salvaged only the clock & gun camera, Flt. Leader - Capt. Fletcher;

On 16 June 1945, Ray married Doreen Bolton, a young British woman from Ipswich. He had met her by chance at a Myra Hess concert in London and they had started going to local dances together. His request to marry had initially been turned down by Group CO Col. Tukey but somehow Ray's request reached Tukey's superior, Gen. Edward W Anderson, and he had approved it.

After WWII, Burwell was 5 years in active reserve & 20 years active duty, served in Vietnam.

Ray died in 2001, but Doreen is still going strong aged 92, and keeps in touch with Ed Nebinger and his wife Marge.

DFC/ AM w/ 7 Oak Leaf Cluster

1 in Air, 2 on Ground



  • Richard Andrino

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) area support mission to Bonn in P-51 44-15307. Chasing a Fw190 at low level in the vicinity of Bonn, Germany when the E/A pulled up and over a small copse of trees, following closely, A/C hit...

  • Doreen Bolton

    Doreen Bolton met Ray Burwell in London at a Myra Hess concert. Her mother Ivy invited Ray to Saturday lunch and so he became a friend of the family. Doreen and Ray started to go to local dances together and they grew closer. When Ray did not break off...

  • John Crump

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot, Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    August 1944-EOW; 77 missions, 311 hrs; /Wild Bill/ PA47D-22-RE PI-W 42-26322 /Jackie/; P-5ID-15 NA PI-W 44á15056 /Jackie/ ...

  • Edward Nebinger

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Ed Nebinger was a Second Lieutenant at 19 years of age. He served as fighter pilot with the 360th Fighter Squadron of the 356th Fighter Group, flying missions from Martlesham Heath, England. Along with the other officers, he lived nearby in Playford...

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 356th Fighter Group

    356th Fighter Group

    The 356th Fighter Group flew 413 missions between 15 October 1943 and 7 May 1945 and suffered the highest ratio of losses to enemy aircraft claims of any Eighth Air Force Group. This gave the Group the reputation of being the 'hard luck' outfit. The...

  • 360th Fighter Squadron
  • 3rd Gunnery & Tow Target Flight


  • 44-14973 'Lady Doris'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Ray Burwell named the aircraft 'Lady Doris' after Doris Clunan from Baton Rouge, LA. The pair had met at a dance in New Orleans and they were engaged to be married before Ray left the United States.

Associated Place

  • East Wretham

    Military site : airfield
    East Wretham was not improved to Class A standard. It retained its shorter runways, although eventually pierced-steel planking was laid to make take offs and landings easier for the Thunderbolt, and then Mustang, pilots. Steel matting was also laid to...

  • 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...

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...


Event Location Date
Born Denair, California 14 August 1923
Enlisted Castle Airport Aviation and Development Center, Atwater, CA 95301, USA 24 October 1942

Merced AAF, California

Pilot training Goodfellow, Lackland AFB, TX 78236, USA 1944

Flight training - Basic at Goodfellow Field, San Angelo, Texas. Class 44-B.

Pilot training Moorefield Rd, Mission, TX, USA 1944

Flight training - Advanced at Moore Field, Mission, Texas. Class 44-B.

Promotion Martlesham Heath, Martlesham, Ipswich, UK 23 April 1944

Promoted to Captain.

Based Martlesham Heath 20 August 1944 – 1 May 1945

Assigned to 360FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF.

Promotion Martlesham Heath, Martlesham, Ipswich, UK November 1944

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Based East Wretham 1 May 1945 – September 1945

Transferred to 3GTTF.

Married Doreen Bolton Rushmere St. Andrew, Ipswich, UK 16 June 1945
End Tour of Duty (ETD) England, UK September 1945

Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

Died Santa Rosa, CA, USA 14 November 2001
Buried San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery Santa Nella, Merced County, CA 17 November 2001

San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery
Santa Nella, Merced County, California


Date Contributor Update
26 June 2021 15:09:41 Al_Skiff Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2018 11:26:37 Lucy May Changes to nickname, biography and person associations

'Lady Doreen' by Edward M Nebinger, a memoir of his wartime experiences as a fighter pilot with the 356th Fighter Group, published in 2013.

Date Contributor Update
18 August 2017 16:27:28 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, service number, highest rank, role, awards, events, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:50 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roster from ESCORT The 356th Fighter Group Over Europe 1943-1945 by Kent D. Miller / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list / self