Raleigh Blackwell Batten, Class of 1946

Raleigh Batten was born on May 13, 1924, to Annabelle Schwartz and Daniel Marconi “Conie” Batten, Sr., in South Carolina and grew up in Charleston. He entered The Citadel with the Class on 1946, on Monday, August 31, 1942. During his one semester at the college, he was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corps and Cadet Company M. On December 14, 1942, he enlisted as an air cadet, and on February 24, 1923, at Miami Beach, Florida, he became a Private in the US Army Air Corps. [1][2][7]

40146_b085391-00159 1943 Sphinx Batten 46_croppedCadet Private Raleigh B. Batten
Class of 1946

In Europe, Sgt. Batten was assigned to the 598th Bomber Squadron, 397th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. On March 11, 1945, his plane, a B-26 Marauder, was leading a flight in a formation on a combat mission to Breitscheid, Germany. A few minutes after take-off from their home base at Peronne-St. Quentin (A76), France, the plane peeled out of formation at about 4500 feet and was seen to crash, making a hard belly landing, and a few seconds later, explode. The aircraft crashed at La Haie Meneresse near Busigny, France. There were no survivors. [3][4] The crew members were:

* Lt. F. Irving Clark – Pilot
* Lt. John F. Bundy – Co-pilot
* Lt. Robert L. Booth – Navigator, buried Epinal American Cemetery, Section B, Row 31, Grave 31
* Lt. Richard E. Mygrant – Bombardier
* T/Sgt. Colin R. Wise – Engineer-Gunner, buried Epinal American Cemetery, Section A, Row 8, Grave 65
* S/Sgt. Daren H. Hurst – Radio-Gunner, buried Epinal American Cemetery, Section B, Row 38, Grave 31
* Sgt. Raleigh B. Batten – Armorer-Gunner
* Sgt. John F. Russell – Radio-Gunner.


After the war, Sgt. Batten’s body was removed from the temporary US military cemetery (Plot B Row 2 Grave 30) at Champigneul, Chalons Sur Marne, France, repatriated, and interred at his final resting place in the Batten Family cemetery near Whiteville, Columbus County, North Carolina.[5][6]


Memorial photo courtesy of The Citadel Archives and Museum, Charleston, South Carolina.

[1] http://www.ancestry.com
[2] 1943 Sphinx, the Annual of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets
[3] MACR 15921
[4] http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2011.htm
[5] US Army Graves Registration Command records
[6] http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=38510766
[7] US World War II Army Enlistment Records, NARA