Connell, Ralph J - AAF Pre-flight School Sergeant appointment
Connell, R.J., twin engine diploma - 16 Feb 1943, Blytheville, Ark
2nd Lt appointment
Second to last letter before crash
13 NOVEMBER 1943 - MISSION ABORTED DUE TO WEATHER
Today was another aborted mission which was not credited as a sortie to any of those that did get airborne, but this did not prevent tragedy from striking.
Shortly after take off while in the vicinity of Wargrave, something started to go wrong with the "Sunrise Serenader." At an altitude of 10,000 feet, just after 0900 hours, the aircraft started to vibrate badly, but held course momentarily. Just seconds prior to this the bombardier had pulled the safety pins from the bombs and then went into the radio room. There he joined the tail gunner, ball turret gunner, right waist gunner and the radio operator, T/Sgt. Alan B. Purdy.
All these men had their parachute harnesses on and fastened with the exception of the bombardier. None had their chutes snapped on at this time. Almost instantly after the bombardier came into the radio room, the vibration started and the plane went over sharply on the left wing, then back and over on the right ...
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Connell, RJ - Lion's Club Honor - The County Record, Blountstown, Fla - 8 Dec 1943
Lt. Connell pilots flaming ship away from town - Jacksonville Journal - 17 Dec 1943.
1st Lt. Ralph Jackson Connell - Jacksonville Journal editorial
1st Lt. Ralph J. Connell (far right), pilot, 8th Air Force and crew of B-17 in WWII.
544th Bomb Squadron patch
Condolence card from General George C. Marshall to Carl Connell
384th Bomb Group patch
L-R: Sisters Ouida & Orene, Ralph, and mother Carl Parrish Connell
Uncle Ralph funeral notice
Connell, RJ - KIA announcement - The Times, St. Petersburg, Fla
University of Florida memorial certificate