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Personal Details

Wallace Paul Binsfield Ringham 2
Wallace P B Ringham 1
Level of Education: 2 years of college 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
1920 1
Wisconsin 1
Place: Ashland County, Wisconsin 1

World War II 1

Army 1
Enlistment Date:
24 Mar 1942 1
Army Branch:
Medical Administrative Corps - For Officers only 1
Army Serial Number:
16060515 1
Enlistment Place:
Milwaukee Wisconsin 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Actors and actresses 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0213 1
Film Reel Number: 2.70 1

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Wallace Paul Binsfield Ringham

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.

Thank you. My father Albert L Smith, Jr was the bombadier on Captain Ringham's plane. It was my father's first and only mission. I am just now learning more about the plane, the mission, Saipan, and, of course, the crew. I am hoping to see some pictures and learn more about the above. I find it interesting that Captain Ringham's listed occupation is acting. My father was also an actor with a likely day-job interest in ranching (in what is now suburban Los Angeles). Did the plane have a nickname? Again, Thank you for making this entry.

Michael, please accept my sincere gratitude for your father's (Lt. A. L. Smith, Jr.) service during WWII. The "facts" in my entry primarily came from the MACR #14785. But according to Bob Mann's book "The B-29 Superfortress"; the B-29 #44-87652 did not have a nickname, and was shot down over Hitachi, Japan.

2nd Lt. Harold Brown was a radar operator on the Ringham crew on Mission #278 over Hitachi. Lt Brown was my wife's father. She was born three months after the crew went missing. My late mother-in-law had a completer crew listing which we will attempt to locate. Are there any photos of the crew together or anything similar?

The 877th Bomb Squadron was assigned tail code IDs: V-Square-1 thru V-Square-20. There were actually three B-29 aircraft assigned the V-SQ-11 tail code: #1). 42-63483 ditched 24 April 1945; Antonucci aircrew. #2). 44-69655 shot down 26 June 1945; Newell aircrew. #3). 44-87652 lost/shot down 20 July 1945; Ringham aircrew.

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