WWII veteran shares story of survival in new book

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SPEEGLEVILLE, Texas (KWTX) – A Central Texas veteran is sharing his remarkable story of survival and courage in a new book.

Ralph Graham is a man sharing the memory of his brothers in arms. In his new book “12 Minutes,” he shares the story of his 33 missions as a B-17 radio operator in World War II.

“I did it for them,” he said.

“I did it for the fact that I was the only one left that needed to expose it. I needed someone to read about this or hear about it to know what happened.”

In the decisive battle of the bulge, his crew’s original plane was not air worthy for battle. For twelve minutes, the crew gathered their belongings and switched to a separate plane on a different mission.

“We joined in with them and bombed a bridge over a river,” he said.

“We weren’t briefed for that mission except for just bomb the bridge.”

After destroying the bridge to help the troops on the ground, the crew returned to find everyone scratching their heads…

“No one knew us… that’s why they reported us as shot down,” he said.

“That’s why as soon as we got back there was so much confusion. The squadron commander looked at us and said, ‘Where’d you come from?’ and started looking at his list again.”

Their plane, later recognized as “the ghost plane,” was one of four that survived the entire battle, while 9 others had been shot down by the Germans. Decades later, Graham is the last member of the crew alive and says his goal behind the book is that his crew mates aren’t forgotten.

“They wanted someone to know what happened,” he said.

“They wanted everyone to know the story of our day because nobody else did.”

Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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