H.K. Ramey, Ca. 1920s (Source: Findagrave)
H.K. Ramey landed twice at Tucson. The first time was between Friday, April 24th and Thursday, April 30, 1931 (he didn't enter an arrival date). He flew a Douglas O-38 identified as 31-340. He carried as passenger one "Shia, A.F." They arrived from San Diego, CA Rockwell Field eastbound to El Paso, TX. They were based at San Antonio, TX Kelly Field.
The photograph, left, shows him during the 1920s. It is, along with some other great images, from the Findagrave Web site.
According to his NASM biographical file (cited, left sidebar) Ramey was born at Waynesboro, MS on October 14, 1896. He was educated through high school at Waynesboro and attended an Agricultural & Mechanical school for one year, leaving in 1915. He enlisted in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps on November 6, 1917. He graduated from the School of Military Aeronautics, Austin, TX, and received flying training at Kelly Field, TX and Carlstrop Field, Arcadia, FL. He was commissioned 2nd lieutenant, April 20, 1918.
He served as flight instructor at Carlstrom and Gerstner Field, Lake Charles, LA until January 4, 1919, when he was transferred to Ellington Field, TX. He served Border Patrol duty along the Mexican Border until November 5, 1920, when he was assigned to Langley Field, VA to study aerial photography.
After graduating the photography school he was assigned to Bolling Field, Washington, DC in October, 1921. He won 2nd place in the Liberty Engine Builders Trophy Race during the international races in St. Louis during 1923. He was then assigned to Camp Nichols, Philippine Islands from 1925-1927, Kelly Field, TX in January, 1927 as commanding officer, 22nd Photo Section and Photographic Instructor.
He was then ordered for duty at Maxwell Field, AL as of September 1, 1933. This brings us to his second landing. It was on Wednesday, August 21, 1933. This time, perhaps a little prematurely, he cited his home base at Montgomery, AL Maxwell Field. He was on the cusp of his reassignment. He was westbound this time, arriving from El Paso on his way to Riverside, CA March Field. He flew an unidentified transport aircraft and was accompanied by five passengers identified as Capt. F.J. Eglin, Capt. Gardner, Lt. Goodrich, Lt. Saville and Lt. Horton.
Ramey was a founding member of the Order of Daedalians. Their history can be found at the link. Ramey's daughter, in an online anecdote, described the evening the Daedalians were founded at Ramey's home at Maxwell Field, AL. At the link she states, "Paging through a historical book of the Daedalians, Mrs. [Margaret Ramey] Watkins looked at the list of the 35 founding members. Running her finger down the list, she read out some of the names with whom she was familiar. Namely, "There was Beau and Blackburn (Capt. Lucus Beau and 1st Lt. Lloyd Blackburn). They were good friends of Dad's. And Eglin ... he painted my portrait that's in the back room." That was Capt. Frederick Eglin, namesake of the northwest Florida base."
Not to defer Ramey's biography, but there are 66 landings logged in the Register by 25 of the founding members of the Order (including Ramey). Perhaps not all were present at Ramey's home on March 26, 1934 when the group was formed, but they certainly left their marks at Tucson between 1925 and 1935.
Further to his progress with the Army, Who's Who in Aviation for 1942-43, cited him as progressing through the grades from lieutenant to colonel. He attended the Air Corps Tactical school in 1934, and the Command and General Staff School in 1936. The New York Times of September 12, 1942 cited his elevation to the rank of Brigadier General.
The New York Times, April 3, 1943 (Source: NASM)
Six months later, Brigadier General Ramey was believed killed in the Bismarck Sea on March 26, 1943 in the crash of a B-17F-1-BO named "Pluto." Details of the crash are available at the link. Briefly, "It is unclear who was the pilot of this B-17. Although the MACR lists Ramey as the pilot, it is possible he was simply listed as pilot since he was the ranking officer. Or, if another took over flying once airborne. Aboard were passengers from Headquarters Squadron, 5th Bomber Command."
The airplane, "Took off at 9:15am from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a reconnaissance/administrative flight to Merauke and Horn Island, then back to 7-Mile Drome. The radio operator 'checked in' with the ground station 20 minutes after take off. There was no further communication with the aircraft. While underway they possibly encountered bad weather. The crew was experienced and no reason for the loss has ever surfaced. General Douglas MacArthur was concerned that Ramey might have fallen into Japanese hands, as well as Lt. Commander Mannoccir, but there is no evidence that Japanese aircraft intercepted this B-17 or any of the crew were taken prisoner."
Please follow the link to Findagrave, above, to view other images of him, the B-17 "Pluto," and photos of his family and memorial marker stone. There is also a brief article about the "Spirit of Founders" ceremony held May 27, 2006 for the Daedalians. Register pilots Barney Giles and Clements McMullen are cited in the article.
To continue, in the days following the crash, several search missions were flown, but no definitive evidence of wreckage or any survivors were found. The crew was officially declared dead on November 19, 1945. From his NASM biographical folder, an article from The New York Times of April 3, 1943, above, described the loss.
For perspective, an article in The New York Times of May 7, 1944 cited 23 general officers killed during WWII to date. Among them were Ramey and Register signers Clarence Tinker, Frank M. Andrews and Carlyle H. Wash. The article doe not include another 18 or so who became prisoners of war during the same time period. Another Register pilot, and general, killed was Davis Dunham Graves.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 05/16/12 REVISED: