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First News Article

Lt. Roy B. Edge
Dies in Action
Gordon County Hero Was Pilot of B-26 First Lieutenant Roy B. Edge, Army Air Corps pilot, based in England, has been killed in action, according to a message received by his father, R. W. Edge, Thursday  morning. Details were lacking, but it is presumed that he was killed in a bombing mission over Germany. He was a pilot of a B-26. The last letter received by relatives from Lt. Edge was dated September 1, and at that time he had completed 65 missions. Lt. Edge was here on a 30-day furlough in July, after which he was immediately returned to the front. He has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and at the  time he was at home in July had four added clusters. His father, one sister, Miss Louise Edge, of Atlanta; three half sisters and half brother, survives the gallant flying hero. John D. Edge, of Calhoun, is his uncle. Lt. Roy Ballard Edge was killed in action in England on August 31, the War Department has notified his father, R. W. Edge, of Marietta. Pilot of a B-26, Lt. Edge was based in England with the Ninth Bomber Command. A graduate of Calburn High school in May 1941, Lt. Edge enlisted immediately in the Army Air Corps, receiving his wings at Ellington Field, Texas, in December 1942. He was stationed at Barksdale Field, LA, for advanced flying and was sent to England in March 1943. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and nine Oak Leaf Clusters, Lt. Edge had completed 60 missions. He was home on a 30-day furlough in June 1944, after which he immediately returned to England, where he completed five more missions. Returning from the sixth, his plane became disabled over London, and to save the lives of civilians, he ordered his crew to bail out and gave his own life in making a forced landing. He has been recommended for the DSC. Lt. Edge was a member of the Edgewood Baptist church in Atlanta. His sister is Miss Louise Edge, who makes her home with Mrs. W. M. Dacus in Edgewood.

Second News Article

Lt. Roy B. Edge, who recently gave his life to prevent civilian casualties in London, England, received high praise in a letter to his father, R.W. Edge, from Lt. Edward W. Davis, a fellow crewmember on Lt. Edge’s plane. Lt. Davis also sent a clipping from the London newspaper describing the manner in which Lt. Edge met his death. Although the newspaper did not mention the Gordon County hero’s name, Lt. Davis said that the clipping refers to Lt. Edge. Under the heading, “U.S. Pilot Died to Save Civilians,” the English newspaper article said:

“A pilot of a medium bomber of the United States Ninth Bomber Command on Thursday gave his life to prevent civilian casualties after his aircraft became disabled over London. He is to be recommended for a posthumous award of DSC, one of the highest decorations a member of the United States armed forces can receive. The bomber became disabled while flying at 4,500 feet over a thickly populated section of northeast London. The pilot, after ordering the four members of his crew to bail out, then attempted a crash landing at an aerodrome. The aircraft hit the runway but the approach was too fast to land. The pilot succeeded in pulling it up over a factory and a railway and then crashed into a garden. The rest of the crew landed safely.”

Lt. Ed Davis’ letter

Lt. Davis’ letter, dated September 2, is as follows:
“Dear Mr. Edge:
My name is Ed Davis. Your son Roy, and I have been buddies since the first part of our flying training in June 1942. Ever since then we have flown together in the same outfit and often in the same plane. We have cussed and quarreled and shared everything from our troubles to our paychecks. I loved him better than any brother I have and there are a hundred guys here that will agree with me that there isn’t a finer guy in the air force than Roy. I miss him, Mr. Edge. I know you and your family and his friends’ grief is great. There is no point in telling you mine, but I just wanted you to know than he made too many friends to count in this army and what he was and what he did will never be forgotten by his comrades. The Englishmen won’t forget him either. They won’t forget the American pilot who gave his life to spare their wives and children. I am enclosing a clipping from an English paper that will explain pretty well what happened. You all may say medals will not bring him back and why on earth didn’t he jump and save himself. I have wondered that myself. He was young and I know he loved life as much as anyone. Yet who are we poor ordinary people to wonder how a truly brave man’s mind works when a great decision like he made presents itself. He decided coldly in a split second whether to save himself or those civilians below. I wonder, Mr. Edge, how many people are produced in a generation who can calmly decide a thing like that provided the occasion presents itself. Not many, I know. I guess you should mix a lot of pride in with your sorrow, sir. You might like to know there was hardly a mark on Roy. He was lying clear of the wreckage. He died of a head injury about ten minutes after the crash. He was not conscious and of course felt no pain at all from the time he hit. I had the honor of being his burial escort and attending his funeral this afternoon at three o’clock. He was buried at the American cemetery at Cambridge. The casket was polished hardwood with a nameplate. All covered by a flag. It was, of course, a military funeral. I got the finest flowers to be had in the town. I thought you would want to know the details, sir. If there is any other information you would like, please ask me.”

Mission Report

2 Lt. Roy B Edge.
31st August 1944 Target Isle de C’Zembre gun positions. This was a pathfinder mission with target cloud covered, bombing results unknown.
B-26 41-34792, DR-G 452nd Bomb Squadron 
2 Lt Roy B. Edge, Pilot
2 Lt. R.S. Noorhead, Co-pilot
S/Sgt. P. M. Steele, Engineer/gunner
Sgt. D.W. Martin, Radio/gunner
Sgt. T.J. Amoury, Tail gunner
792’s left engine cut out over the English Channel, crew bailed out when other engine failed on landing approach to Hendon airfield, north London suburbs. Lt Edge elected to stay with the aircraft to avoid crashing into a built up area, aircraft crashed into nearby park and Lt. Edge was killed.


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