Ralph F. Kling

Picture of Ralph Kling RALPH F. KLING (9th AF; 388th Fighter Squadron, 365th Fighter Group) born August 27, 1924 in Mead, Nebraska, grew up on a farm in Turlock, California and graduated from cadets with his twin brother John Roger Kling at Montgomery, Alabama in the class of 43K.

John Roger flew "Jugs" in the 12th Air Force for 125 missions and received the D.F.C. for leading the mission on the Italian liner the Roma.

Ralph went to England and was with the first replacements to the 388th Fighter Squadron, of the 365th Fighter Group in May, 1944. He flew 68 missions, all ground support and reconnaissance except 4 as radio relay and/or escort. He earned 12 Air Medals and destroyed one ME109.

Kling was shot down on a "recon" mission in Luxemborg when his gas line was severed by ground fire during a strafing pass. He bailed out of his flaming P-47 at less than 1,000 feet, was burned about the head and legs and was taken prisoner shortly after landing.

He spent a month in a "displaced persons" hospital in Koblenez and later spent time in Limborg, Nurnenburg before being sent to Stalag Luft IIIA and was at Moosburg when he was liberated after 7 months as a P.O.W.

Kling and another 388th pilot and P.O.W. Robert O. Baker went to Kassel to visit with their old squadron for a week before VE Day and the trip home.

After Kling returned to the U.S. he graduated from San Jose State College and was a teacher, coach and administrator in California high schools for 30 years. He married Irene Dresback in 1944, and they have two daughters. He taught school one year (1959-60) with the American Dependents School in Portiers, France and visited St. Mere Eglis's "chicken wire" strip and the P.O.W. barracks at Moosburg.

List of all P47 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
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