Raymond L Downing
The Montpelier Examiner, March 9, 1944
Sgt. RAYMOND L DOWNING REPORTED MISSING IN ACTION
Sgt. Raymond L Downing, 23, is missing in action since January 12 over Italy, according to information received Saturday by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E L Downing. He was a radio gunner on a B-26 and when last heard from early in January was stationed in Sardinia.
He has been in the Mediterranean theatre of war
since May of last year, prior to that time he was in Brazil for a few months.
Following his graduation from Montpelier high school, he enlisted in August
1940, in the Air Corps and took his training at various filed in the United
States. "The Secretary of War" the Adjutant General's message stated,
"desires me to express his deep regret that your son has been reported missing
in action since January 12 over Italy."
The Montpelier Examiner, February 1, 1945
MISSING MAN IS PRESUMED DEAD BY GOVERNMENT
Sergeant Raymond L Downing, 23, who has been carried as missing in action over Italy since January 12, 1944, is presumed to be dead, according to information received from the War Department by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E L Downing. When last heard from early in January 1944, Sergeant Downing was a radio gunner on a B-26 stationed in Sardinia. His parents were officially informed March 4, 1944 that he was missing in action.
"The War Department" his parents were informed, "entertained hope that he survived and that information would be revealed dispelling the uncertainty surrounding his absence. However, as in many cases, the conditions of warfare deny us such information." The bombers in which he was a crew member was struck by flak? and crashed at the base of a mountain ten miles from the west coast of Italy, the letter explained. "Full consideration has recently been given to all available information bearing on the absence of your son, including all records, reports and circumstances. These have been carefully reviewed and considered. In view of the fact that twelve months have now expired without the receipt of evidence to support a continued presumption of survival, the War Department must terminate such absence by a presumptive finding at death. The finding did not establish an actual or probable date of death, but as required by law, a presumptive date of death was set as of January 13, 1945."
Born in Montpelier September 19, 1921, Sergeant Downing lived here all his life. Following graduation from high school with the class of 1940, he enlisted in the Air Force in August of that year. He received training at a number of airfields in the United States and spent several months in Brazil before going to the Mediterranean area.