Ralph S. Lucardi

Picture of Ralph S. Lucardi RALPH S. LUCARDI, born the day after Christmas, 1919, in "The Patch", North Agawam, Massachusetts. He graduated from American International College, Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1942 with a B.S. in Chemistry. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet and trained in Class 43-J, getting his wings and commission at Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama. After a month's flying P-47G's in RTU at Perry Field, Alabama, he went directly to combat with the 57th Fighter Group in Italy.

The famed 57th had provided close air support in P-40's to allies all across the North African desert and had worked its way up through Sicily to Italy, where the first jugs arrived just prior to the outfit's move to Corsica. From Corsica, the 57th was charged with the responsibility of "Operation Strangle", cutting off communications and supplies to enemy forces in Italy.

Lucardi flew 111 missions dive-bombing, strafing and otherwise providing close air support for ground troops. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for leading a dive-bombing and strafing mission against the enemy airdrome at Ghedi, Italy, where he was directly responsible for the destruction of 14 enemy aircraft. He also earned the Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters.

After combat, Lucardi rotated to the U.S., married Jane M. O'Malley, and along with combat buddies Captains Chad Reade and Allen Sanderson, ran the Fighter Gunnery School at Las Vegas Army Air Field, Nevada, flying P-39's, P-63's and AT-6's.

Returning to civilian life in December, 1945, Lucardi entered the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts; earned a Master's Degree in Physical Chemistry; and later worked as a Research Chemist for a subsidiary of the Johnson and Johnson Co.

During Korea, he rejoined the Air Force, trained in Biological Warfare with the Army, put in a tour at the Pentagon, and worked on Aircraft Escape Systems at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio. Eventually moving to the electronics field, he joined the 425L Program of the Electronics System Division, Air Force Research and Development Command. The 425L Project Office was charged with the responsibility of designing, developing, and testing of the NORAD Combat Operations Center as well as the design and construction of the Combat Center itself, deep in the heart of Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

After the 425L Project was successfully completed, Lucardi was appointed Chief of the Contract Management Office for the administration of all Federal Contract Research Centers ("Think Tanks") contracts for the Electronics Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command. It was from this assignment that he was promoted to Colonel and received the Legion of Merit.

Col. Lucardi retired from the Air Force in March, 1972 and makes his home in Suffield, Connecticut.

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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