RALEIGH BLACKWELL BATTEN, ’46

Raleigh Batten was born on May 13, 1924, 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. At the end of December 1942, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. [1][2]

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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, 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 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 at Champigneul, France, repatriated, and interred in his final resting place at the Batten Family cemetery near Whiteville, Columbus County, North Carolina.[5][6]

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

[1] https://www.ancestry.com
[2] The Sphinx 1943
[3] MACR 15921
[4] https://www.b26.com/guestbook/2011.htm
[5] US Army Graves Registration Command records
[6] https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=38510766

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