Ramsey


Late last summer, I had the pleasure of corresponding with a descendant of one of my father’s crewmates on Mission 234 with a target of Memmingen, Germany. They had flown together in a plane named “The Flying Latrine.” This contact was kind enough to share information with me as well as a picture of one of the other men who had flown with my father, Sgt. George Lawson Ratje. Sgt. Ratje was a tail gunner on Mission 234. My father was a ball turret gunner.

The Flying Latrine

Crews did not always fly the same plane nor did the men fly with the same crew each time. However, I was kindly provided with a list of missions my father and members of the 2nd Bomb Squad flew as well as a list of each of my father’s missions. (These files are in Excel format.)

George Lawson Ratje survived World War II to return home. However, he had died 30 July 1950 in California.

George Lawson Ratje

All who were on Mission 234 over Memmingham, Germany were:

  • John F. Rice, Pilot
  • Grant W. Ramsey, Co-Pilot
  • Granville C. Egleson, Navigator
  • Charles T. Wright, Bomb/Togglier
  • Herman T. Butko, Engineer/Top Turret
  • Harold S. Barth, Radio Operator
  • Edward B. Mierzejewski, Ball Turret
  • J. J. Casey, Waist Gunner
  • R. L. Reynolds, Waist Gunner
  • George L. Ratje, Tail Gunner

I have a photo of my father while he was in training at MacDill in 1944. What makes this photo special is that my father actually wrote the names of the men in his crew on the back.

Here is the photo, taken June 10, 1944.

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944

Here is a scan of the legend. The legend is transcribed below the image.

MacDill Field Crew 221 June 10, 1944 Legend

MacDill Field Crew 22 June 10, 1944 Legend

MacDill Field, June 10, 1944
Crew 221

June 10, 1944

Top Row
Left to Right

Pilot Flight Officer Ramsey, California
Co-Pilot Flight Officer Vaughn, New York
Navigator Flight Officer Peck, Pennsylvania
Commander Flight Officer Strickland, Virginia
Engineer Sgt. Tague, Chicago, Ill.

Bottom Row, Kneeling

Assit. Engineer Cpl. Reynolds, Waist Gunner, Oklahom
Radio Operator Sgt. Barth, Pennsylvania
Me (Edward Mierzejewski), Ball Turret Gunner, Ohio
Armourer Sgt Casey, Waist Gunner, New York
Assit. Armourer Sgt. Ratje, Tail Gunner, California

Perhaps a family member or friend of these men may find this picture of interest to them.

My father was a member of the 49th and 96th Bomb Squadrons. For more information: http://www.2ndbombgroup.org/

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