Ralph Iden Lipper


Maybe the Yanks were brave.
Maybe they were scared.
Maybe they were a little cocky.

Certainly they were young
and they were serious about doing their duty.

In north Africa water was scarce.
The earlier artillery forces fighting Rommel's tanks in the desert
were rationed to one pint of water per day.
They sometimes used fuel to wash their clothes.

The 389th BG had a well and the luxury of water to wash in.

Col. Leon Johnson commanded the 44th Bomb Group
during the summer and fall of 1943.
He was greatly respected and admired by the group.
He was promoted to general after the low level Ploesti raid.

In England the air bases were spread out.
This was partially to maximize the use of farmland
and partly to avioid mass destruction of aircraft
on the ground by German bombers.
Bicycles were a useful means of transportation.

Ralph Lipper enlisted in the USAAF in June, 1942.
Although he had hopes of being an aviator,
he was diagnosed as color-blind and therefore unfit for pilot training.

Lieutenant Lipper arrived in England with the 44th Bomb Group in September 1942. His initial assignment was to the 44th BG 67th Bomb Squadron as Fire Marshal & Salvage Officer. After a temporary re-assignment to 389th Bomb Group during the summer of 1943, he returned to the 44th BG and the job of Group Engineering Officer.

During his European service he was promoted to Captain and returned to the U.S.
at the end of the war with the rank of Major.

March 1945
Lt. Summers - Maj. Lipper - Sgt. Fox

After his military separation in June, 1946,
Ralph Lipper continued his military service in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.
He was assigned to the 442nd Troop Carrier Wing
stationed at Richards Gebaur AFB south of Kansas City.

He was placed on active duty status twice during his reserve career. Once during the construction of the Berlin wall and the second time for over a year during the "Cuban Missile Crisis" when he served as Base Commander for Richards Gebaur AFB.

Ralph Lipper retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel.

March, 1984 - Tucson, Arizona
Ralph Lipper and B-24
  Ralph's full time career was Engineering Professor at
Kansas State University.
But he never lost the sentimental attachment to the "flying boxcars".
Until his death in 1989, he maintained a connection with the historical societies of the 8th Air Force, the 2nd Air Division, and the 44th Bomb Group.

in this site
Ralph Lipper B-24 Liberator Don Pierce
Flying 8-balls Mighty 8th AF Sky Scorpions
random photos-a the air crews 389th BG aircraft
random photos-b Ploesti, Romania Ole Irish
lifestyle hazards Aviator's diary waist gunner
sources / books / links U.S. before the war 389th BG stories
this site home page contact 389th BG web site