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DaveTrojan

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 #1 

Question: Who was the first AIr Transport Command pilot killed on active duty in WWII?

This question came up while discussing the history of Travis AFB (formally Fairfield-Suisun AFB)
According to Travis AFB history records:  

*8 February 1943
-The actual transfer of the unnamed Army Air Base to ATC was completed. Local officials attempted to name the base in honor of Capt. W.P. Ragsdale, Jr. (the first ATC pilot killed on active duty in WWII), but were blocked by War Department directives prohibiting the naming of military bases after heroes.

Here is the official reference:
http://www.travis.af.mil/Portals/30/AFD-131217-079.pdf?ver=2016-05-13-094834-763

The base was named Fairfield-Suisun AFB because of its location to the nearby cities.

Furthermore, W.P. Ragsdale Jr. does not show up in the AAIR data-base.

Furthermore, I have never heard of the War Department directives prohibiting the naming of military bases after heroes.  Anybody have a reference for this? I don't believe it.

Did the Air Force Base Historian get this wrong?  I want to give him the straight info.  

Dennis

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 #2 
MacDill, being named after Leslie MacDill in very early or pre WWII seems to prove this false.  Dennis
huron1988

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 #3 
Thomas E. Selfridge first military person killed in a plane crash (pilot was Orville Wright!) - Base in Mt. Clemens, MI named after him, pre-WWII

Paul Wurtsmith - Oscoda Army Airfield (Oscoda, MI) re-named in his honor - post WWII

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Jeff Benya
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WaltW

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 #4 
Capt W.P. Ragsdale is listed on MACR 15467.  Transport squadron crew but not a transport aircraft.  B-24 ferry mission went missing off Australia 3 March 1942.  All declared KIA.  See attached MACR clip.

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: Capt_WP_Ragsdale_B-24_ferry_missing_3_Mar_42_MACR.jpg, Views: 13, Size: 153.58 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: WP_Ragsdale_death_w_ref_to_Capt_WP_Ragsdale_Jr_[The_Bro...5_Nov_42_pg1].jpg, Views: 13, Size: 70.52 KB 

DaveTrojan

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 #5 
Great job Walt! MACR, I didn't think of that.
So now the story moves forward. 
Capt. W.P. Ragsdale, Jr. was from Texas, No connection to California. 
According to the history of the Air Transport Command (ATC). The Ferrying Command was officially renamed the Air Transport Command on  20 June 1942.  So at the time of Ragsdale's MIA 3 Mar42 He must have been in the Ferry Command not the ATC.
Now I need to find the original local California newspaper story that started all this incorrect information that has now been passed down as fact. 

Now I also have some things I need to talk to the Base Historian about...
Got to get the record corrected.
 
WaltW

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 #6 
Here's your crash, it's on Pacificwrecks.  They were evacuating people from Java which is why there were 20 people stuffed on that bomber.  Jumped just after takeoff by a Zero which was part of a big raid on Broome that day.

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-24/40-2374.html
DaveTrojan

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 #7 
Wow, an unarmed B-24 jumped by a zero, they did not have a chance. What a tragedy.
Thanks again Walt  
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