Ralph Thomas Bass Jr. was born in South Carolina on 14 July 1923 to Ralph Thomas Bass and Shellie Virginia Alverson.
Died 20 February 1944
Buried Forrest Hill Cemetery, Chattanooga, TN

Staff Sergeant
392nd Bomber Group, 579th Bomber Squadron, 8th Air Force

Aircraft B-24H with serial number 42-7529, Nickname Coral Princess was on a combat mission to Helmstadt, Germany, and was severely damaged from enemy fighter attacks. During an attempted emergency landing at the large English airfield at Manston, the plane exploded while on a landing approach killing all aboard.

Crew members
Pilot, 1st Lt John B. Peyton
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Arthur P. Rueffer
Navigator, 2nd Lt George Gregory
Bombardier, 2nd Lt Herbert E. Demontier
Radio Operator, T/Sgt Daniel Connor Jr.
Engineer, S/Sgt Orivlle L. Smith
Gunner, S/Sgt Ralph T. Bass Jr.
Gunner, Sgt Bernarr J. Berglund
Gunner, S/Sgt Kermit C. LaVick
Gunner, S/Sgt Roy E. Welch

Kneeling from left to right: T/Sgt Orville L. Smith, S/Sgt Ralph T. Bass Jr., S/Sgt Everett J. Pyecroft, S/Sgt Donald D. Pippitt and S/Sgt Kermit C. LaVick
Standing from left to right: 2nd Lt Arthur P. Rueffer, 2nd Lt David U. Richards, 1st Lt John B. Peyton, 2nd Lt Herbert E Demontier and T/Sgt Daniel Connor Jr.

The Chattanooga Daily Times, 7 March 1944
Mrs. Shellie Virginia Bass, 116 East Brainerd Road, was notified Sunday of the death of her son, S/Sgt Ralph T. Bass, who was killed in action Feb. 20 with the army air forces near Manston, England. He was a gunner aboard a B-24 Liberator bomber and was in charge of all ammunition for his ship. He had completed eight missions and in his last letter he had written that “everything was all right.” During one mission he said that his outfit shot down 19 enemy planes. The exact nature of Sgt. Bass’ death was not revealed. However, a telegram received by Mrs. Bass yesterday from the wife of one of Bass’ crew-mates revealed that her husband also had been killed on the same day Bass was reported dead. Mrs. Bass said that she knew the relaties of the other crew members of the plane and was expecting news from them soon. She believed that the bomber had crashed during a take-off or from damage inflicted during a raid over enemy territory.
Sgt. Bass was in partnership with his mother in the Bass Mattress Company, 23rd and Broad Street, before entering the air corps in September of 1942. He attended Castle Heights and Baylor military academies. His grandmother, Mrs. J.B. Alverson, also lives in East Brainerd. Sgt. Bass was the fiance of Marjorie Elder of the University of Chattanooga.

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 14 July 1923
  • Date of death: 20 February 1944
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chattanooga
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 392nd Bomber Group, 579th Bomber Squadron, Heavy
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Forest Hills Cemetery, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XI, Top Panel
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