|Death: ||Jul. 14, 1943|
Major Francis B. Rang MIA/KIA DFC-SS
Squadron: Headquarters IX Bomber Command
Service # O-409905
Awards: Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster
Missing Air Crew Report Details
Date Lost: 14-Jul-43
Serial Number: 42-40701
Aircraft Model B-24
Cause: Unknown 3 or more KIA
The 389th Bomb Group Flew a raid to the Messina ferry terminal in Support of the Sicily invasion July 14 1943. One ship 42-40730 officially lost piloted by Lyndon Brown. Three other casualties are found on this date Lt. Thompson of the 564th BS, Major Rang of Headquarters IX Bomber Command both on B24 42-40701, and T/Sgt Verboys 564th BS. Major Rang and Sgt verboys appear Tablets of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Nettuno, Italy and seem to have been lost at sea, this would indicate a possible ditching, emergency bail out over water his body not recovered. T/SGT Verboy however he is not in USAAF records and Lt. Thompson has a grave and is buried in the cemetery.
There is a memorial to Major Francis Bernard Rang in Pennsylvania Find A Grave Memorial# 103467330 the date of death is given as August 6 1943?
Major Rang was a veteran of the "HALPRO" Ploesti raid. The first American bombing mission over Europe which began when thirteen B-24s of the First Provisional Bombardment Group took off from an R.A.F. airstrip at Fayid, Egypt, at ten thirty on the night of June 11, 1942. As a night flight, destined to put the bombers over Ploesti with the first rays of dawn, it was impossible to maintain a flight formation. Each pilot was on his own, navigating through the dark skies over the Mediterranean, while hoping to find his comrades when the morning sun rose over the Black Sea. Major Rang does not appear on the August 1st Ploesti roster. His SS and DFC probably were awarded for the Halpro mission.
On October 31, 1942, the First Provisional Bombardment Group became part of the newly activated 376th Heavy Bombardment Group. As the first heavy bombardment group to operate in the Middle East Theater, the 376th took great pride in its status and history, adopting the nickname "LIBERANDOS" after their B-24 Liberators. Throughout the winter, Halpro crews escaping from Turkey slowly made their way back to join the Liberandos. (By April 1943, all had returned to duty.) The Liberando's later participated in "Operation Tidal Wave".
Note: Entered the service from Virginia.
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial
Cittą Metropolitana di Roma Capitale
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
Maintained by: John Dowdy
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56313500