of key events for Ralph L. Minker Jr.

24 June 1924 Ralph Leland Minker Jr. born in Wilmington, Delaware 
-- May 1941 Graduates from Alexis I. Dupont High School, Wilmington, Delaware
07 December 1941 Japanese forces bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
21 January 1943 Completes sophomore year of study at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
-- February 1943 RLM departs for Miami, FL for Basic Training, U.S. Army Air Forces
23 June 1943 Arrives Santa Ana, California for testing and classification
30 August 1943 Primary flight school in Phoenix, Arizona begins
03 November 1943 Advanced flight school in Pecos, Texas
12 March 1944 Receives wings and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant
15 March 1944 Returns home to Wilmington, Delaware for one week furlough
03 April 1944 Transitional / Specialty Training begins at Roswell, New Mexico
29 June 1944 Processing at Tampa, Florida
09 July 1944 Operational training at Gulfport, Mississippi 
23 September 1944 Final staging at Savannah, Georgia
06 October 1944 Arrival at Rattlesden, England
29 October 1944 Crew of the Blue Hen Chick B-17G is operational
5 March 1945 Combat tour of 35 missions is complete; RLM is youngest pilot ever in 447th to do so
8 May 1945 V-E Day, WWII ends in the European Theater
14 August 1945 V-J Day, World War II ends

Certificate of Membership:  The Lucky Bastards Club
Pilots who lived through 35 combat missions, such as Ralph L. Minker Jr., joined this elite group of men.

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Ralph L. Minker Jr.