Ralph Korer

Pilot, No 1 Ferry Unit
Service number 119790
Died 24 Sep 1944
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery
Age 23

Ralph was born on 7 January 1921 in Stockport, Greater Manchester to Jack who was born in St Petersburg and London born Dinah nee Isaacs and he had a sister and three brothers. The Korer family arrived in England in 1892 from Russia. Jack married Dinah in 1908 in Stockport before they left for Cook, Illinois, USA. The 1910 U.S. Federal Census lists the family living Illinois with Jack’s sister and her husband where Jack is working as a tailor. Ralph’s three older siblings were born in Illinois before the family returned to England where Ralph and his younger brother were born in Stockport. Jack became a naturalised British citizen in 1929. By 1939 the family had moved to Leeds, Yorkshire living at 31 Gledhow Park Drive where Jack was a clothing factory manager. Ralph enlisted in the RAF at the end of 1940.

Ralph was the pilot of Dakota KG653 which departed RAF Pershore and was one of 15 Dakotas on a special flight to India carrying 300 RCAF personnel and ground crew as passengers. Ralph’s nephew stated: ‘Ralph was apparently not supposed to be the pilot but the original pilot got drunk. He is said to have had an ominous feeling about the flight.’

The aircraft was due to refuel at Cagliari on the Italian Island of Sardinia. KG653 had three crew and was carrying nineteen Canadian and one Australian airmen as passengers. The aircraft flew off course and was shot down by Luftwaffe Pilot Julius Meimberg killing all on board the aircraft.

Pilot, F/Lt Ralph Korer, RAFVR
Nav, P/O Lionel Alfred Veary, 165184, RAFVR
W/Op, Sgt George Beckoff, 116352, RAAF

Passengers – RCAF personnel and ground crew:
Cpl James Ernest Allen, R/116919
LAC Lawrence Irwin Beach, R/53101
LAC Oliver Eugene Debs Bergen, R/198657
LAC Robert Thomas Burden, R/163109
Cpl William Howard Campbell, R/72053
LAC John Adelard Real Chevrier, R/54834
LAC Joseph Robert Marcel Armand Couturier, R/174379
Cpl James Cumming, R/10195A
AC1 Frederick Robert Leigh Gates, R/150018
LAC Michael James Foch Good, R/169520
Sergeant Walter Francis Hughes, R/58248
Cpl Howard John Hunter, R/159360
LAC Fred Larsen Kristensen, R/191794
LAC William John Scott Lundy, R/194702
Cpl Lorne Hamilton Moreau, P/10407
LAC Donald John McDonald, R/176956
AC1 John Dunlop McVie, R/258359
Cpl Frederick William Sargent, R/212995
LAC John Cyril Sutherland, R/72988
LAC Henry Studwell Watson, R/270640

Further information will be uploaded soon.

Courtesy Mendy Korer
Courtesy Mendy Korer