DOWNEY, JOSEPH W., Captain, # 0-729145, USAAF

 

Joseph W. Downey was born in 1920 in Oregon to Frances A. Downey. He attended the University of Oregon in 1941. He enlisted, with three years of college, in USAAF as an aviation cadet while residing in Clackamas, Oregon, on 18 August 1941, at Portland air base, Oregon. He earned his wings and a commission. On 18 January 1944, a C-47A troop carrier, 42-100696, assigned to the 2nd Troop Carrier Squadron, departed Dinjan, India, on a food packet drop mission to Burma. It was last contacted at 1137 hours by radio. It was shot down by enemy fighters in Burma. All aboard were killed in action.

 

Graves Registration recovered mixed remains of the named servicemen and returned the remains to the U.S. for burial. On 8 June 1950, a single casket group burial of several remains is at Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island, Illinois, Section E, Site 407.

 

Marker reads: “PHM2 Benard N Baumann, USN, 1stLt Joseph D. Feldman, USA, Sgt Elmer Gallovich, USA, 2ndLt Irving Israel, USA, SP1 Arthur J Meehan, USNR, Cpl. Charles W Morgan, USA, TEC5 Millard H. Proctor, USA, 1stSgt William Seymour, USA, Capt. Joseph W. Downey, USA, Capt. James R. Fitzpatrick, USA, Pvt. Joseph A. Homschek, USA, Capt. Ferde A, Larson, USA, MSgt Glenn G. Meyer, USA, 2ndLt Jesse D. Morris, USA, 2ndLt Thomas R. Riley, USA.”

 

RIDGE, ROBERT N., Second Lieutenant, # 0-680079, USAAF

 

Robert N. Ridge was born 7 October 1918 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, to William Robert Ridge (1877-1940) and Rita Jane (Penrose) Ridge (1893-1980). A brother, U.S. Navy Machinists Mate 3rd Class Edwin Gerard Ridge (1924-1944) was killed in action 18 December 1944, in the Pacific. He served aboard the U.S.S. Lansdale, then transferred to the U.S.S. Spence, DD 512 on 22 January 1943. He is buried in the same cemetery. A sister was Norma Virginia (Ridge) Bahley (1917-1985).

 

He enlisted 13 November 1939 in the U.S. Army National Guard, Headquarters Troop, 10st Cavalry Regiment, Brooklyn, New York. The regiment was federalized 27 January 1941 and assigned to Fort Devens, Massachusetts. He received his commission on 23 May 1943 and trained as a C-47 Skytrain transport pilot. He was sent overseas to India in September, 1943. On 18 January 1944, a C-47A troop carrier, # 42-100696, assigned to the 2nd Troop Carrier Squadron, departed Dinjan, India, on a food packet drop mission to Burma. It was last contacted at 1137 hours by radio. It was shot down by enemy fighters in Burma. All aboard were killed in action. The family placed a V.A. veteran’s marker on his grave site in the Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, New York, when his remains were returned, burial was on 27 June 1950.