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Ralph L Clinton


On 18 November 1942, while serving as Navigator, in 'Fury' B-17 #41-24499 bombs could not be released so were jettisoned in an open field. On return, 10 miles SW of Exeter, A/C collided with #41-24553 which was able to land safely; however Fury landed at RAF Turweston and was salvaged.

Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 #41-24479 'Sad Sack' while serving as Navigator. Aircraft was attacked by German fighters approximately 30 miles off the English coast after it had turned back because of mechanical malfunction in # 2 engine and crashed into the English Channel. The aircraft and crew were all lost.


Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 322nd Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24479 Sad Sack

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24479 "Sad Sack" Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-R] 2-September-1942; Bassingbourn 29-September-1942; Missing in Action 23-November-1942 on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. This was the 4th mission for this crew. Last seen with ...

  • 41-24499 Fury

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F #41-24999 'Fury' was assigned 91BG/322BS [LG-P] at Bangor 2-Sep-42; Bassingbourn 29-Sep-42; 3m Despatched 18-Nov-42 to bomb the U-Boat pens at La Pallice, France. Upon return the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-17F #41-24453 (91BG) ...


  • VIII Bomber Command 21

    18 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient and La Pallice, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission. However, those at St. Nazaire, France are attacked by 21 B-17s of 303BG when they are mistaken for those of Lorient. The force attacking Lorient is composed...

  • VIII Bomber Command 23

    23 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...


Event Location Date
Mid-Air Collision (MAC) Turweston, Brackley, Buckinghamshire NN13, UK 18 November 1942

Was aboard 41-24499 when is sustained a mid-air collision with 41-24553. Aircraft landed at RAF Turweston but was too badly damaged to repair and was salvaged.

Killed in Action (KIA) English Channel 23 November 1942

Killed when 41-24479 was attacked by German fighters and crashed into the English Channel. His remains were never recovered.

Commemorated Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Madingley Road, Coton, Cambridgeshire CB23 7PH, UK 1945

Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery.


Date Contributor Update
08 September 2020 02:55:42 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added punctuation to the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
30 November 2014 18:08:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, events, aircraft associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 30-Nov-2014. Added MAC event and 41-24499 association per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; added KIA event per MACR 16273; added Commemoration event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) record.

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2014 19:26:33 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 5-Nov-2014. Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 16273; American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC).

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:51 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 16273 / MACR 16273, Losses of the 8th and 9th Air Forces Volume I by Bishop and Hey p. 47 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database