GROFF, RALPH HAMILTON, JR., Sergeant, # 19090114, USAAF

 

Ralph H. Groff, Jr., was born on 30 November 1921 in Colorado to Ralph H. Groff (1895-1975) (IL) and Margaret Mary (Murphy) Groff (1897-1980) (CO). Siblings included Mary Asella (Groff) Elden (1923-1998). In 1930, his maternal grandmother, Delia Murphy (1870-    ) was living with them.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Santa Ana, California, on 22 February 1943. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He was serving as senior gunner in the fire control compartment. On 26 June 1944, a B-29, #42-6323, nicknamed “Eileen,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, crashed on takeoff from the airfield at Chabua, India. The aircraft was a total loss and all of the crew were killed. Some were deemed “killed during an operational flight.” Once the crew remains were recovered, they were buried in the airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India. His remains were recovered from the airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India, and buried in the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California, on 9 June 1948 (Sec. C, Grave 467).

CHESEBRO, GEORGE FREDERICK, Staff Sergeant, # 37303393, USAAF

 

George F. Chesebro was born on 2 January 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to George Jennison Chesebro (1884-1950) and Sena M. (Mickelson) Chesebro (1885-1952). Siblings included Irene M. Chesebro (1925-    ). In 1930 a cousin, Russell Edward Hawkins (1909-1970), was living with them (married to Adeline Hawkins, Lake Lillian, Minnesota; died Portland, Oregon). He graduated from North High School in 1940 and his favorite quotation was, “The silent word is never wrongly spoken.” His address in 1942 was 605 Newton Ave. North, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 30 June 1942 and described himself as 6’1”, 170 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. After enlisting, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He was serving as left waist gunner. On 26 June 1944, a B-29, #42-6323, nicknamed “Eileen,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, crashed on takeoff from the airfield at Chabua, India. The aircraft was a total loss and all of the crew were killed. Some were deemed “killed during an operational flight.” Once the crew remains were recovered, they were buried in the airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India. His remains were recovered from the airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India, and buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Hawaii, on 10 January 1949 (Sec. A, Grave 127).