Ray Kellogg: From Airman to Captain

Ray Kellogg was a 19 year old from Roswell, New Mexico, when he joined the Air Force in 1941.  He trained as a bombardier at Albuquerque Army Air Base in the very first year that base was established.  (With its habitually good weather and vast expanse of surrounding land, AAAB was the military’s official school for bombardiers.)  Ray was a quick study and became a particularly skilled user of the Air Force’s complex, tachometric Norden bombsight.

In his time with the 393rd Bomb Squadron (2nd Air Force), Ray later advanced to navigator status and – later still – to the rank of captain.  In ten years’ Air Force service, he piloted the B29 Superfortress, B50 and – finally – the Air Force’s timeless B52 jet bomber.  In February, 1944, Ray flew high altitude bombing missions over Kwajalein Atoll in the most concentrated bombardment of the Pacific War.  Later, he was chosen as the fifth pilot to prepare for atomic bombing missions over Japan.  (Only two such missions were needed before Japan surrendered in August of 1945.)

Ray remembers a particularly harrowing Air Force flying After mustering out of the Air Force in 1951, Captain Kellogg settled in Toledo, Ohio, and became an economist with the Dana Corporation. He is the father of three. incident after the war.  He was flying a mission over Sardinia (Italy) in a B50 when his aircraft lost two of its four engines.  He was forced to make an emergency landing on a small, local runway.  As he landed the large bomber, the aircraft blew a tire but Ray managed to bring the plane to a safe stop….at the very mouth of a body of water!

These days, the 92 year old veteran makes his home at Oakleaf Village in Toledo.  He enjoys the fellowship at Oakleaf enormously and is particularly pleased and proud when his daughter plays piano during cocktail hour!