19-20 July 1945 — Hitachi, Japan
Wallace Paul Binsfield Ringham, b. 27 May 1920 in Wisconsin – d. 20 July 1945 (KIA).
After two years of college, he enlisted (ASN: 16060515) as a Private in the Army Air Corps on 24 March 1942 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He was selected for aviation cadet training and completed Primary and Basic flight training phases. Graduated from Advanced multi-engine Flight School and was commissioned (ASN: O-671770) a Second Lieutenant in the USAAF. Transitioned to four-engine training and underwent B-29 aircraft operational combat crew training at Smoky Hill Army Air Field near Salina, Kansas.
In October 1944, he out-processed from Herington Field and deployed from Mather Field, California to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations and was assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 499th Bombardment Group (VH), 877th Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands.
On 19-20 July 1945, he flew in the left seat as the Airplane Command Pilot aboard a Boeing B-29 Super Fortress, tail code V-Square-11 (serial #44-87652).
It was one of 130 aircraft launched to bombard the urban area of Hitachi, Japan. The mission was flown in darkness, and not in formation. Flak from anti-aircraft artillery was described as moderate, and only one enemy aircraft was reported by returning aircrews. His aircraft was last seen at take-off and never returned to Saipan. No radio or visual contact was established after departure from Isley Field. He was initially listed as MIA and declared Killed-In-Action one year later.
Note: According to Robert A. Mann’s book: “The B-29 Superfortress: A Comprehensive Registry of the Planes and Their Missions”; B-29 #44-87652, the 3rd aircraft to carry the V-SQ-11 tail code, was shot down over the Hitachi area.