Maj Richard T Deabler


Maj Richard T Deabler

Schoharie County, New York, USA
Death 21 May 1944 (aged 24)
Limburg, Belgium
Burial Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands
Plot : F, Row: 3, Grave: 26
Memorial ID 56298104 View Source
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Age: 24
Hometown: Schenectady, New York

Glenn T. Deabler (father)
Neva E. Deabler (mother)
Ardell W. Deabler (brother)
Harry E. Deabler (brother)
Emily S. Deabler (wife) later remarried

Servicenumber: 0-432232
Rank: Major
Function: Pilot, Squadron Leader, Commander
Company – Squadron: 53rd Fighter Squadron
Group: 36th Fighter Group
Plane data:
(Serialnumber, MACR, etc.) Serialnumber: 42-25886
Type: P47D-22RE
MACR: 5011

Date of death: 21 May 1944
Status: KIA
Place of death: Biesme, Belgium
Spot: At Biesme, 15 km.South-east Charleroi between the villages of Sart Eustache and Sougnies, Belgium

Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

Biography: -
Other information: Statement from 1 Lt. Jack W Crow.

"Major Deabler and I shot up freight train evidently containing munitions. The resulting explosion caused a solid sheet of flame to shoot up into the air to an altitude of 3000 ft., covering a base area of a mile in diameter. The flame was so sudden that Major Deabler and I had to fly through the flame at an altitude of approximately 800 feet. I noticed Major Deabler's ship was burning. I talked with Major Deabler and he stated it looked as though he would have to bail out and I advised the Major to bail out quickly. I saw Major Deabler's arm go up to open the canopy and just at that time the ship fell into a spin and crashed. I did not see Major Deabler leave the ship and I circled Major Deabler's plane, following the crash four or five times and saw nothing of Major Deabler"

The book "36th Fighter Group Prepared to Prevail" contains another story.

"On another squadron mission a marshalling yard was attacked in the Metz region. Before all the squadron had dropped their bombs, a train exploded with a tremendous blast that destroyed just about everything in the yard. The blast was so strong, the vacuum it produced caused a number of the Thunderbolts over the target to experience stalled engines. All were able to restart their engines in flight except the squadron leader,R.T.Deabler who went in with his plane and was killed. The other pilots who were along on the mission felt that he spent too much time trying to restart his engine before bailing out, a judgement call that didn't work out. In other interviews for this manuscript with pilots who were on the mission, all mention the tremendous magnitude of the explosion. Intelligence later determined that the train was loaded with rocket fuel, thus the extraordinary blast."

Source of information: Nico Leers, 36th Fighter Group Prepared to Prevail (book) and Warren Davis.

Family Members


Gravesite Details Entered the service from New York.


  • Maintained by: Nico Leers
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56298104
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Richard T Deabler (5 Mar 1920–21 May 1944), Find a Grave Memorial ID 56298104, citing Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands ; Maintained by Nico Leers (contributor 47172118) .