Ralph Hofer joined the Royal Canadian Air Force by going across the Michigan border in 1941. He wanted to see action. He was trained to fly and once the U.S. entered into WW2, he transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps and was eventually put into the new P-51 "Mustang".
Always a rebel, he continually disregarded orders and on his first mission scored a 'kill" against the Luftwaffe. Continuing to rack up his score, he became a an 'ace', shooting down 14 German aircraft and destroying an equivalent number on the ground. On an escort mission that had the fighters accompany U.S. bombers from England to Russia and then south to Italy, Hofer was drawn away and shot down by Luftwaffe fighters. He was apparently killed in combat, but his aircraft continued to fly for hundreds of miles, gliding onto a field in Yugoslavia. He was just 23 years old.
-From an original painting by Robert Coker. / Copyright CokerAirArt.com 2022.
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