Ralph M. Colflesh

Colflesh Ralph Morrison Colflesh was born on August 21, 1916 to Ettweine Colflesh and Josephine Williamson. He had a sister, Helen, who was born two years earlier. During his youth, he lived in Wayne with his family.

Mr. Colflesh was a busy student at Radnor High School. He played football, ran track, participated in the Christmas Play and was a member of the Glee Club and the Athletic Council. He graduated from RHS in 1935 and later married Virginia L. Gassman on December 11, 1942.

After high school, Mr. Colflesh he joined the U.S. Air Force. His service number was O-760964 and he reached a rank of First Lieutenant.

One of Mr. Colflesh’s first military duties was at the Guantanamo Bay, where he was a patrolling officer in 1942. After training, he received his pilot’s wings and commissioned in Yuma, AZ in December 1943.

Shortly after receiving his wings he was sent on numerous bombing missions in Germany. He was the leader of the 96th Heavy Bombardment group, which spelicialized in deep penetration bombing runs into Germany.

Mr. Colflesh completed bombing runs Munich, Stuttgart and Merseburg before he sadly lost his life in a bombing run near Merseburg on July 29, 1944. He earned many awards, such as thew Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Presidential Unit Citation; the Purple Heart; and the E.T.O Ribbon with one Bronze Star. He is buried in Neuville, Belgium.