Ralph P. Ackerman

NAME
Ralph Paul Ackerman
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
294851
UNIT
VMSB-233
Pilot
HOME OF RECORD
5779 Chatsworth Avenue, Detroit, MI
NEXT OF KIN
Father, Mr. Paul Ackerman
DATE OF BIRTH
1920
ENTERED SERVICE
August 25, 1940
DATE OF LOSS
January 23, 1943
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
New Georgia
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing In Action
Declared Dead January 24, 1944
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Technical Sergeant Ralph Ackerman was an enlisted pilot who served with VMSB-233 during the campaign for the Solomon Islands. On 23 January 1943, he was part of a strike force assembled to search out a pair of Japanese ships spotted in “The Slot” near New Georgia.

Ackerman sighted in on the freighter Toa Maru 2 and pushed Dauntless #33 into a dive, twisting through a hail of 20mm anti-aircraft fire. Hits were observed on his aircraft, but Ackerman “rode it on down” for 7,000 feet before pulling the lever to release his bomb. The plane lurched immediately after the drop; onlookers surmised that Ackerman had been hit and killed, for the bomber plummeted into the sea.

The squadron’s War Diary commented that “The courage displayed by Ackerman and his gunnerĀ [PFC Benton J. Hill] is of a type that demands commendation.” Hope was held out for their safe return until 24 January 1944, when both Marines were declared dead.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Technical Sergeant
STATUS OF REMAINS
Missing in action.
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for more information about this Marine.


Articles & Records:

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