High School Wall of Honor
Ralph Powers Warren
Class of January, 1938
1st Lieutenant; Died. DNB; Nonbattle
Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953. Ralph Warren lived
one block from my home near Hull Avenue and Columbia Street. I knew
his family well. I vividly remember seeing the revered photo of Ralph
in his uniform (below). The photo sat on top of their large console
radio. Who could have ever imagined that 65 years later (especially
with the technology of computers, etc.) that I would be writing my personal
tribute to Ralph with the restoration of that same photo for presentation
on a website I created?
|Ralph Powers Warren
was a member of North High's class of January, 1938. He enlisted
in the US Air Force (Army Air Corps) on January 15, 1942 at Fort
Des Moines, Iowa. At the time of his enlistment, he was single
with no dependents. He had completed one year of college. His
service number was 0-751218.
Ralph was assigned to the *770th Bomber Squadron, 442 Bomber Group.
During combat in the Pacific Theater, Ralph was regularly flying
with B-29 crews. Ultimately, WWII had been declared over, and
approximately sixteen Air Force members were returning Stateside.
On September 6, 1945, their B-29 stopped to refuel at Kwajalein
(Atoll). At takeoff, the plane did not achieve full ascent in
the takeoff procedure and tumulted into the Pacific. All aboard
perished. Ralph's death was reported as DNB; Died; Nonbattle.
At the time of his death, his rank was 1st Lieutenant.
His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Wayne (Sadie) Warren, 3006 Bowdoin
Street, Des Moines, Iowa.
4 September 1945: Kwajalein
44-61786 462nd BG, MACR 14905, Major Thurston,
Flew into ocean after takeoff (night), All KIA, possible blinded
by lights at end of runway, No more B-29 takeoffs at night after
"On 4 September 1945, B-29 # 44-61786 of the 462nd BG took
off from Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, en-route to Mather Field,
California for aprox. 5 days TDY for the purpose of transporting
organizational supplies. Also on board were 8 AAF crewmen who
were "going home". Among these great young men were
dear friends of Scotty McCall, Stan Lee, Col. Ed Loberg and Lt.
Col. Thomas Vaucher.
"I believe in reading their names we Honor their memory and
give our gratitude to them for their ultimate sacrifice for all
of us and our Country. May they Rest in Peace knowing how loved
and respected they are."
Maj. Bernays K. Thurston
Co-Pilot: 1st Lt. Richard B. Johnson
Navigator: Capt. Robert D. Russell
Flight Engineer: M/Sgt. Robert E. Campbell
Radio Op: S/Sgt. George A. Snapp
Passenger: 1st Lt. Walter J. McGrath
Passenger: S/Sgt. Rudolph E. Sagan
Passenger: S/Sgt. Giles Bissel
Passenger: Capt. Fred E. Damberg [444th BG]
Passenger: Capt. Friederich H. Klugg
Passenger: Capt. Robert W. Thomas
Passenger: 1st Lt. Francis R. Flaherty
Passenger: 1st Lt. Edward R. Norris
Passenger: 1st Lt. Theodore T. Peck
Passenger: 1st Lt. David A. Stocking
Passenger: 1st Lt. Ralph Powers Warren (Des Moines,IA)
Lt. Ralph Powers Warren
The 770th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force
unit. It was last assigned to the 462d Bombardment Group, based at MacDill
Field, Florida. It was inactivated on 31 March 1946.
Established in March 1943 as one of the first B-29 Superfortress squadron;
however no B-29s were yet available for operational use. Trained with
B-24 Liberators and B-17 Flying Fortresses throughout 1943. Received
early model B-29s and prototype YB-29s beginning in August 1943, however
aircraft were still undergoing development and were frequently modified
by Boeing technicians in the field while the squadron was undergoing
training in Kansas.
Deployed to India in early 1944; several aircraft breaking down en route
via South Atlantic Transport route from Florida to Brazil then to Liberia;
across central Africa and Arabia, arriving in Karachi, India in March
1944. Arrived at converted B-24 airfield in eastern India in mid-April
1944. Aircraft still undergoing modifications while transporting munitions
and fuel to forward airfield in central China; staging first attacks
on Japanese Home Islands since the 1942 Doolittle Raid. Lack of logistical
support limited number of attacks on Japan from Chinese staging airfields;
squadron also attacked strategic enemy targets in Thailand; Indochina
and Malay Peninsula.
Moved to West Field (Tinian), Tinian, in the Mariana Islands of the
Central Pacific Area in January 1945 and assigned to XXI Bomber Command,
Twentieth Air Force. Its mission was the strategic bombardment of the
Japanese Home Islands and the destruction of its war-making capability.
Flew "shakedown" missions against Japanese targets on Moen
Island, Truk, and other points in the Carolines and Marianas. The squadron
conducted combat missions over Japan participating in wide area firebombing
attacks, but the first ten day blitz resulting in the Army Air Forces
running out of incendiary bombs. Until then the squadron flew conventional
strategic bombing missions using high explosive bombs.
The squadron continued attacking urban areas with incendiary raids until
the end of the war in August 1945, attacking major Japanese cities,
causing massive destruction of urbanized areas. Also conducted raids
against strategic objectives, bombing aircraft factories, chemical plants,
oil refineries, and other targets in Japan. The squadron flew its last
combat missions on 14 August when hostilities ended. Afterwards, its
B 29s carried relief supplies to Allied prisoner of war camps in Japan
Squadron was largely de-mobilized on Saipan during the fall of 1945.Was
reorganized as part of continental Air Forces, Fourth Air Force at March
Field, California in November 1945, being manned and equipped with low-hour
B-29s returned from the Central Pacific. It later was transferred to
the new Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946, being one of SAC's initial
bombardment squadrons. Demobilization, however, was in full swing and
the unit turned in its aircraft and was inactivated on 1 October 1946.
770th Bomber Squadron
442nd Bomber Group
US Air Force
above information was obtained from the following:
(1) The World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army
Air Forces Personnel was created by the War Department, the Adjutant
General's Office, Administrative Services Division, Strength Accounting
Branch. The original records are held at the Modern Military records
LICON, Textural Services Division (NWCTM), National Archives at
College Park, Maryland.
The documents contain the latest and most complete information
available of all Army and Army Air Force personnel who were killed
or died, or became and remained missing, between the President's
declaration of unlimited national emergency on May 27, 1941 and
the cut-off date of this report, January 31, 1946. This document
includes both battle and nonbattle dead and missing. The records
are available online at http://www.archives.gov/.
The type of casualty is indicated by the following:
* KIA - Killed in Action. This is an individual who was killed
in action at the front, by enemy action in the rear, or if a
prisoner of war.
* DOW - Died of Wounds. This is an individual was who wounded
and later died.
* DOI - This is an individual who suffered fatal battle injuries
and died in a line of duty status.
*DNB - Died Nonbattle. This is an individual who died in a line
of duty death, such as from sickness, homicide, suicide, or
accidents outside of combat areas (training).
*M - Missing. This is an individual who is reported as missing
and later was determined to be dead.
*FOD - Finding of Death. Findings of death fall within Public
Law 490 and its amendments and are made when there is either
conclusive proof that the person is dead or equally overwhelming
evidence that under the circumstances the person could not have
This document only contains the names of those individuals who
died in the line of duty status. Those individuals who were not
in the line of duty at the time of their death are not listed
in this document.
(2) The World War II Army Enlistment Records contain information
on more than nine million indivdual enlistments. These records
can be found online at http://www.archives.gov/.
(3) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018
graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines
High School website. The names of all North High School graduates
can be found online at http://www.ndmhs.com/.
Ralph Powers Warren's 1938 class page can be viewed at
September 5, 1945; DNB; Nonbattle
"Wind Beneath My Wings"
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