Ray E PRATER

 

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ARMY SERIAL NUMBER16074085
AGE20 yo
DATE OF BIRTH1923 CALIFORNIA
STATEChristian County ILLINOIS
FAMILYSingle
RANKSergeant
FONCTIONMechanic Gunner
JOB before ENLISTEMENT--IL
DATE of ENLISTEMENT9 september 1942 Peoria ILLINOIS
SQUADRON511th Bomber Squadron
GROUP351st Bomber Group, Heavy
ARMY8th Air Force
DATE OF DEATH31 december 1943prater ray e tombe
STATUSKIA
PLACE OF DEATHBellevue en Kerbors, CÔTÉS D'ARMOR
DATA PLAN

B-17 Fortress - type G-5-BO - s/n 42-31179 DS*B

"Stinky Weather (Pooper Dooper)" 

Macr: 1980

b17

Mission: Bombing on Bordeaux (33) and Cognac (16)

Takeoff: 08h30 station 110 Polebrook NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

Defeated by enemy fighters at 13:15 - Plane partially evacuated by parachute

tail code 42 31179

CEMETERY TEMPORARYInitially buried in Lannion (22)
CEMETERYBRITTANY AMERICAN CEMETERY de St James

Map St James American Cemetery

PlotRowGrave
O523
DECORATION
Purple HeartPhoto FDLM
 

 

usaf 8air force 351BG 511 BS
 
STORY

20 year-old Sgt Ray E Prater, 16074085, was from Edinburg, Christian County, Illinois southeast of Springfield and northwest of Taylorville.

Christian County is in south central Illinois. The County seat is Taylorville.

On the afternoon of December 31st, 1943, while returning from the bombing of the Cognac-Châteaubernard airfield, the B-17 “Stinky Weather” was shot down by German fighters over Bellevue, on the river Jaudy.

Sgt Ray E. Prater, mechanic and top gunner of the B-17 42-31179 "Stinky Weather (Pooper Dooper)", took off from station 110 in Polebrook, Northamptonshire, UK, southwest of Peterborough, at 0830 on December 31st, 1943, on a bombing mission to Bordeaux and Cognac.

They were intercepted at 1315 between Pleubian and Kerbors by German fighters. Hit, the plane was partially evacuated before crashing by the bay. Of the six that survived, only 2nd Lt Schwayder made it back to England.

Prater was initially buried in Lannion.

Source: uswarmemorials.org.

A memorial at the end of the Rue de Port at Kerbors Plage (readily visible on Google Maps Street View), Brittany, France marks the location of the crash. The inscription reads:

“In memory of the crew of the American B-17 "Stinky Weather", shot down here by German fighters on December 31st, 1943.

Pilot - 2nd Lt Warren L. PUTMAN (KIA)

Co-Pilot - F/O Thomas A. IRVINE (KIA)

Top Gunner- Sgt Ray E. PRATER (KIA)

Bottom Gunner - Sgt Albert R. Custer (KIA)

Bombardier - 2nd Lt R. WOOD (POW-DOW)

 

They died for our liberty"


Crew of B-17 Fortress - type G-5-BO - s/n 42-31179 DS*B

"Stinky Weather (Pooper Dooper)"

2 Lieutenant Warren L  PUTMAN Pilot Dead - Cim Brit Am St-James 

O-675286 - AM/PH - Montana USA -

Initially buried in Lannion (22) T.18

Flight/Observator Thomas A IRVINE CoPilot Dead

T-001616 - 21 ans - Né le 11/05/1922 -

Initially buried in Lannion (22) T17

2 Lieutenant Irving SHWAYDER Navigator Escape

O-750224 - Born 28/09/1921 - Denver, Colorado USA -

Evasion with network Burgundy by Pyrenees/Espagne/Gibraltar

Come back UK 17/04/1944 

2 Lieutenant Jack R WOOD Bomber Prisoner

O-744444 - California USA - Injured, hospitalized -

Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia

Sergeant Ray E PRATER Mechanic/Gunner Dead - Cim Brit Am St-James 

16074085 - PH - Illinois USA -

Initially buried in Lannion (22)

S/Sergeant Wesley Fleatus GREENE Radio Prisoner

34038643 - Born 04/10/1921 - North Carolina USA -

Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf

Sergeant John J Jr GILSON Gunner Prisoner

12098583 - New York USA -

Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf

Sergeant Robert Otis DIEHL Gunner Prisonnier

15323817 - Né le 25/12/1923 -

Stalag 1B Braunau Gneikendorf

Sergeant Albert R CUSTER Gunner Dead - Cim Brit Am St-James 

35410746 - AM/PH - Ohio USA -

Initialement inhumé à Lannion (22)

Sergeant Jack Duke McKINNEY Gunner Prisonnier

18217447 - Né le 02/08/1923 - Texas USA -

Camp inconnu

b17

SOURCE INFORMATION & PHOTOFrancecrashes39-45.net - JF PELLOUAIS - Findagrave.com - Aad.archives.gov
PROGRAMMERFrédéric & Renaud