Army & Navy - HEROES: Pronounced Kelly

Out of the fierce fighting over the Southwest Pacific came a new legend for the children of airmen. Last week in New Guinea pilots were still talking about the final exploit of Major Ralph CheliĀ—("pronounced Kelly," said a friend of his, "as in Colin Kelly").

Ralph Cheli, 23, fair-haired, blue-eyed, had 40 missions and 135 combat hours behind him in New Guinea; he had the D.F.C. and the Air Medal. He also had a young son, called "Butch" by fellow flyers looking over the baby pictures. Because of his executive duties he need not have flown missions; in fact, he rarely...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!