World War II Flight Training Museum and
63rd AAF Flying Training Detachment

Douglas, Georgia

Ralph Kendall Roberson


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Ralph Kendall Roberson

Theater: Pacific

Highest rank: Colonel

Birth and death dates: 6 Feb 1921 – 18 Feb 1994

Enlisted: 5 Sep 1941

S/N: O-789205

He had basic at Augusta and he graduated at Turner Field.

From his own correspondence: After graduation, I was assigned to the 21 Group, 398th Training Squadron on B-25s for about a month. The group moved to Meridian, Miss. and were assigned B-26s. The runways were 2500-3000 feet and too short for B-26s and then we moved the group to MacDill field in Tampa, FL and became the “One a Day in Tampa Bay” operation. I escaped by volunteering for a small detachment to become the 405 Bomb Sq, 38 Bomb Group, SWPA, to join the 71st Sq of B-25, making ready for overseas flight to Australia to replace the B-25 squadrons commandeered by the 13th AF and thrown into the Solomon campaign. We found our support troops in Australia and were stationed in New Guinea for my 17 month tour. After my return to ZI (12/1943) for missions, I was assigned to AAFTAC in Orlando where no one ever learned to fly formation. There I volunteered for a B-29 OTU in Dallas, TX but they had closed it by the time I reported. They used the extra personnel to organize a B-17 OTU in Gulfport, Miss. in 3AF. I was then fired because I had no 4 engine training (and they had B-17 jockeys with combat by thousands). Then they sent me to Myrtle Beach, SC to fly tow targets behind B-25s. I wouldn’t check out because they wouldn’t let me fly a B-25 unless I checked out. A few months later I got back in 3AF as a controller in an Air-Sea-Land Rescue organization that was being formed under Ooperations Directorate at HQ 3AF and was detached to Gulfport, Miss. and then Atlanta, Ga. In 1945 I was transferred to Continental AF and attached to Hamilton Field. Upon arrival 5AF had a cmoplete squadron of M/Sgts and officers (no EM or 2nd Lts) and I asked my commander to transfer me so we could live in Calif. I was separated in the fall of 1946. I flew B-17s, OA-10s. I took a course for IP at Candler Field (Atlanta) flying piper cub J-3s while awaiting Law School at Emory, transferred to Florida in my third year, and flew aiplanes in the 54 Fighter Gp of the ANG (Ga). I never checked out on the P-47s because they would just quit running (they were “pickled” and about half unpickled) for no apparent reason. They had T-6s, C-41s and other stuff to fly. In 1950 I was recalled as a judge advocate and completed 20 years as a Reserve Officer, was forced out in 1964 and retired as a Colonel (grade 6). I volunteered for Korea and for Douglas B-26s but lost that one. I practiced law in DeLand, FL from 1965. I did not go to work since about 1985 or so.

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