Raymond B. Klinke was born in Chicago and grew up in Hinsdale, Illinois. He married his wife Joan before enlisting in the Army Air Corps on October, of 1943. He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in Albany, Georgia in February 1944.
Ray and his crew flew their B-17 overseas via Manchester, New Hampshire, Goose Bay, Labrador, Blui West, Greenland, and Meeks Field, Iceland, to Valley, Wales. They were assigned to 388th Bomb Group- 560th Squadron in Knettishall, England. On their sixth mission to Merseburg, Germany, (September 28, 1944), Ray's ship and crew were badly damaged by flak. They tried to limp back to Liege, Belgium but finally had to bail out and were captured at Altenkirchen, Germany. Ray and the other officers ended up in Stalag Luft 1A in Barth, Germany. The Russians liberated the camp and Ray and others were flown out via B-17 to France on May 13,1945.
Raymond and his wife have raised one son and two daughters and now enjoy the fruit of life with 5 grandsons and 5 granddaughters.
Raymond retried after forty-four years of service from United Airlines as Manager, Revenue Accounting. He and his wife now enjoy retirement in Lake San Marcos, California.
A POW Story
In Stalag Luft 1A, the Germans were constantly searching for a secret radio which provided BBC news. The information was printed up and relayed to the neighboring compound via a thrown tin can.
At one point during one of the many roll calls and searches of the barracks, one American comedian bent down and pretended to cover something up in the gravel. Immediately others picked up the dupe and started doing the same. It drove the German guards crazy running all over trying to find what was being covered up. Of course, there was nothing.
The funny part of the story is that a fellow in our room who we nicknamed "x-9" was the one who had the secret radio all the time, and we didn't know it until liberated.