Ray Prozinski, B-17 Tail Gunner, F-80 Pilot


Raymond J. Prozinski, B-17 Tail Gunner, United States Army Air Forces, Eighth Air Force, 486th Bomb Group, 833rd Bomb Squadron, Sudbury, England, 14 Missions (With the Burton D. "Burt" Ward crew): First Mission March 3, 1945, Last Mission April 21, 1945. WWII Veteran, European Theater of Operations, Purple Heart and also Air Force Reserves, Commission 1950, Flew AT-6, T-28, and F-80 (the first operational fighter). Base Exchange Officer, Kimpo AFB, Seoul, Korea 1952. 14 year Air Force career. Ray was featured in a March 2013 Bloomington Sun Newspaper article.
Born: January 19, 1926.
Grew up: Minneapolis
Schools: Hamilton Grade School and Patrick Henry High School
Age at Pearl Harbor: 15
Enlisted in Army Air Corps: Sept. 1943
Induction: Ft. Snelling, Mn.
Basic Training: Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo.
Aerial Gunner training: Kingman Az.
Crew Assignment: Lincoln, Nebraska
B-17 Combat Crew Training: Alexandria, Louisiana
On leave
Traveled to Sudbury, England (Flew with the Burt Ward crew)
1st Mission: March 3, 1945
Missions: Dortmund, Neinhagen, Oranienberg, Zwikow, Marx, Mulheim, Hamburg, Berlin, Keil, Newburg, Ingalstadt, Royan, Dresden
Purple Heart from the Dresden mission was later awarded in 1994.
Dischraged: Feb. 1946 Camp Atterbury, Indiana
ROTC Air Force Reserves
Commission: 1950
Flew AT-6, T-28, F-80
Base Exchange Officer, Korea 1952
14 years in Reserves ended 1957
To read an account of his time in service (with photos), see Don Ward’s book, The Greatest Generation of Silver Wings (2004) pp. 111-113. ISBN 0-9654964-0-8. The Memorial Press.
(See also Harley R. Stroven's narrated 8 mm color movie about the 486th in 1944-45 and
the 2011 video interview of Bob Mallory, Tail Gunner, 486th BG)
Photo above L to R: Ray Prozinski, Dave Dahlberg, Earl Joswick, and ? They were all waiting to go on a Cherokee Club trip.
Kevin Callahan has the raw VHS tapes and an edited  DVD of Ray's B-17 Aircrew Reunions when he was much younger for anyone who is interested.


Raymond John Prozinski

Raymond John Prozinski Raymond John Prozinski

Prozinski, Raymond John Age 88, of Robbinsdale, MN, born 1/19/1926, passed away suddenly but peacefully Nov 3, 2014. Preceded in death by parents Max & Elizabeth. Survived by his sisters June Vashro and MaryAnn Gambucci, his ex-wife Janet, their children David, Michael (Vicki), Dan (Sue Park), Steven, Kathleen, grandchildren Benjamin, Jason, Lauren, Emmeline, and Oona. Ray enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943 and served in Europe as a tail gunner on a B-17, flying 14 missions over Germany and France. His decorations include the Purple Heart. Ray was also a veteran of the Korean War and flew an F-80. He was a dedicated salesman for Coca-Cola and Duro-Test Lighting. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and singing at the piano bars around town. He was a member of the Eighth Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota and cherished Wednesday lunch meetings with his friends there. Ray had a long and good life and he will be deeply missed by his many loving relatives and friends. Memorial Service Saturday, November 15 at 10 am with a visitation 1 hour prior at Our Lady of Victory Church, 5155 Emerson Ave N, Minneapolis 55430; lunch to follow. Private interment St. Mary Cemetery, Shakopee. Memorials to Our Lady of Victory or Audubon Minnesota

Initial Obituary Notice

Raymond J. Prozinski

Prozinski, Raymond J. age 88, of Robbinsdale, passed away on 11/3. Full notice Sunday 11/9. Memorials to Our Lady of Victory, 612-529-7788.

Published on November 6, 2014