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Ray Phillip Reeves

Military

Ray Reeves had trained as radio operator and flew in that capacity on many missions with the James E. Hill Jr crew, including Ploesti and Wiener Neustadt.

In December 1943, due to ear and nose problems, he was taken temporarily off duty. As he had used a camera on some operations to film bomb strikes, he became familiar with the men in the 44th BG photographic section while recuperating. As his position in the Hill crew had in the meantime been filled by Sgt Chase (P V Chase?), he was asked to fly as a photographer on the 21 January 1944 mission with the Howington crew on B-24H "Ram It-Dam' It" 42-7635. After bombs away, the plane was attacked over France by German fighters and was shot down. It turned out to be Reeves' first and last mission as a photographer. Reeves was one of the 5 evaders. He landed near Sommereux (Oise), France and was in Auneuil the same evening.

For the following 5 1/2 months, he was fed, clothed, transported, sheltered in many places, among them Beauvais, Paris, Beauvais again, then back in Paris. Left Paris by train towards the South of France and, guided by Belgian members of the Comet evasion network, he crossed the Pyrénées mountains in the night of 7-8 May 1944. He was led across Spain to Gibraltar, arriving there on 6 June 1944. He left Gibraltar by air the following day and landed in Bristol, England on 8 June 1944. Escape & Evasion Report E&E 729.
See the full story of his evasion at http://www.evasioncomete.be/freevesrp.html

Service

People

  • Archie Barlow

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined 67th Bomber Squadron 5 October 1943. Shot down by fighters after bombs away on mission to V-1 sites at Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 January 1944 in B-24H #42-7635 'Ram It-Dam'It. Evaded (EVD). Stayed with French Underground until 23 April 1944....

  • Charles Blakley

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Right Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Charles Blakley was Right Waist Gunner on B-24 Serial 42-7635 when it was shot down by fighters on the 21 January mission to bomb V-weapons sites in Northern France. He evaded capture and was back in the UK on 3 April 1944. Missing Air Crew Report MACR...

  • Earl Boggs

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down by fighters after bombs away on mission to V-1 sites at Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 January 1944 in B-24H #42-7635 'Ram It-Damn It'.Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Wayne Crowl

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Bombardier. Joined 68th Squadron 5 October 1943. Shot down by fighters after bombs away on mission to V-1 sites at Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 January 1944 in B-24H #42-7635 'Ram It-Dam' It'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Herman Curtis

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Co-Pilot. Joined 68th Squadron 5 October 1943. Shot down by fighters after bombs away on mission to V-1 sites at Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24H #42-7635 'Ram It-Dam' It'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Nicholas Heiter

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Ball Turret Gunner. Joined 68th Squadron 5 October 1943. Shot down by fighters after bombs away on mission to V-1 sites at Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 Jan 1944 in B-24H #42-7635 'Ram It-Dam' It'. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Hartwell Howington

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Pilot. Joined 68th Squadron on 5 October 1943. Shot down by fighters after bombs away on mission to V-1 sites at Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 January 1944 in B-24H #42-7635 'Ram It-Dam' It'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Richard Kasten

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Navigator. Joined 68th Squadron on 5 October 1943. Shot down by fighters after bombs away on mission to V-1 sites at Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 January 1944 in B-24H #42-7635 'Ram It-Dam' It'. Killed in Action (KIA). His remains were never recovered and...

  • Alfred Klein

    Military | Gunner, Left Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Alfred Klein had joined the 68th Squadron on 10 May 1943. He was Left Waist Gunner on B-24H #42-7635 'Ram It-Dam' It', shot down over France by fighters after bombs away on mission to V-1 sites at Escalles-sur-Buchy on 21 January 1944. Evaded capture...

  • Alvin Rosenblatt

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Alvin Rosenblatt was Radio Operator on B-24 42-7635, shot donw 21 January 1944. Evaded capture and was back in England on 3 April 1944. Escape & Evasion Report E&E 549 - https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5555189

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Units served with

Aircraft

  • 41-24232 Calaban

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24 Liberator, 41-24232, named, Calaban, in the 67th Bomb Squadron, the 44th Bomb Group, of the 8th Air Force, was flown by Pilot 2nd Lt. Edward Dobson on the Ploesti oil refinery raid, diverting safely to Malta. Aug 1,1943. ...

  • 42-7635 Ram-It-Dam'It

    B-24 Liberator
    Was flying Tail End Charlie in the formation. Attacked by German fighters. Engines 3 and 4 on fire; radio compartment in flames. Pilot Hartwell Howington gave the order to bail out over France. 4 KIA, 2 POWs, 5 evaded. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 2357.

Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...

  • 8th Air Force 187

    21 January 1944
    This mission is directed at 36 V-Weapon sites (34 in the Pas-de-Calaise area and 2 in the Chrebourg area of France) 24 of these are bombed successfully. All three Bomb Divisions participate in the attacks and the bomber gunners claimed 5-1-2 of...

Associated Place

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Alanreed, Texas, USA 6 April 1922
Lived in 1942

Alanreed, Gray County, Texas, USA

Enlisted 27 July 1942

Lubbock, Texas

1 August 1943

Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 41-24232.

Bailed out 21 January 1944

of 42-7635, over France

Landed in parachute 21 January 1944

near Sommereux (Oise), France

Evaded capture 21 January 1944 – 6 June 1944

Helped by French citizens and members of the Résistance

Buried 2001

Ray Reeves rests at the Brookside Memorial Park in Houston, Texas

Died 3 July 2001

Houston, Texas

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 September 2021 14:16:17 ED-BB Changes to biography
Sources

Updated website address : www.evasioncomete.be...

Date Contributor Update
23 March 2020 10:59:10 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography, events, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 44th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2020 15:06:32 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, role, biography, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 2357
NARA WWII Enlistment Records
Escape & Evasion Report E&E 729 - https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5555369
Personal research for his page at http://www.evasioncomete.org/freevesrp.html

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:59 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 2357 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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