Ralph Edward “Swede” Lehr, Sr. was born on February 25, 1915 in Oklahoma. He served in the 86th Troop Squadron, 437th Troop Carrier Group as a Lieutenant Colonel during World War II. Pilot of the C47 #42-108884 "Clay Pigeon", the crew was engaged in a supply mission when the aircraft was shot down by German flak while flying over The Netherlands. Flying above an enemy territory on September 17, 1944, the plane was struck in the right wing by antiaircraft fire, as well as taking damage to the cockpit. After catching on fire, the plane lost control and crashed in Bladel, the Netherlands. Four crew members were killed; only SSGT Bela Benko survived. LTC Lehr is buried in the Roselawn Cemetery, Okeene, Blaine County, Oklahoma, USA.
Crew of C47 #42-108884 "Clay Pigeon":
Lt Col Ralph E Lehr, Sr - Pilot and 86th Squadron Commander
Capt Phillip F Uhlenbrock - Co-pilot
1st Lt Edward J Peterson, Jr - Navigator
SSgt James B Rice - Radio Operator
SSgt Bela Benko - crew chief, sole survivor
Source of information: www.findagrave.com