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Ralph M. Wefel Second World War combat diary

 Collection — document-box: 1
Identifier: 2016-020-s-r

Content Description

This collection contains the combat diary of SSgt. Ralph M. Wefel, USAAF from the Second World War. SSgt. Wefel was a Radio Operator/Waistgunner for the Whitetail Marauders, 455th Bomber Squadron, 323 Bomber Group, 9th Air Force, a squadron of B-26 bombers that flew missions over Europe. In his diary, SSgt. Wefel describes, in detail and consistency, mission briefings, bombing runs, and other activities while over seas, with included newspaper clippings to coincide with individual missions. The diary also extends beyond his time overseas and includes clippings and diary entries describing the atomic bombings of Japan and the end of the war. Also included in the collection are supplementary items such as identification cards, notes, and rosters. Inventory:

1 combat diary, containing newspaper clippings

1 identification card, enlisted reserve corps, Ralph Wefel, July 24, 1942

1 certificate of technical training, Army Air Forces Technical School, 11-27-43

1 photograph, b/w, Ralph Wefel in uniform

1 photograph, B-26 from view of gunner

3 photographs, Cologne, Germany after bombing run

1 travel log, handwritten, 1983

1 travel log, handwritten, (5 pages), 1985

1 certificate, honorable discharge, photocopy, Oct. 23, 1945

1 form, Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Honorable Discharge

1 form, Army Separation Qualification Record

1 list, 323 Bomb Group Missions, World War II

1 roster, 455th Bomb Squadron; 323rd Bomb Group, 1984

1 roster, 455th Bomb Squadron, by with positions, 1984


  • 1942-07 - 1985-09
  • Majority of material found within 1942-07 - 1945-10

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Ralph Milton Wefel was born November 24, 1922 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and enlisted in the Air Force Enlisted Reserve Corps on July 24, 1942, and entered active service in the Army Air Forces on February 27, 1943. He reached Scotland in September 1944 and shortly arrived in France and ran bombing missions over Germany from November 1944 until April 1945. He suffered a neck injury which admitted him to an Army hospital at Valenciennes, France. He was released from service October 14, 1945 and died May 18, 2009 in Oxnard, Ca.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 folder, 1 diary)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the combat diary of Staff Sergeant Ralph M. Wefel, United States Army Air Force from the Second World War. Also included are supplementary items such as identification cards, notes, and rosters.


This collection is arranged by materials: Series 1: Combat diary--Series 2: Historical documents

Physical Location

Leatherby Libraries, Special Collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from The Book Shop, 6/16/2016.

Finding Aid for the Ralph M. Wefel Second World War combat diary
Andrew Harman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Leatherby Libraries Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange 92866 USA US