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This silent gun camera footage was recently donated to Periscope Film by the estate of Lt. Ralph Santasiero. It shows missions flown into Occupied Europe starting in late August of 1944, about six weeks after D-Day. At the time Santasiero was flying a P-47 Thunderbolt with the 405th Fighter Group. The film shows various air-to-ground missions against German supply infrastructure including railroads, airfields, and roads. For example, at :21 Santasiero destroys a steam locomotive. At 5:03 he destroys a large target on an airfield.
Ralph A.Santasiero (1921-2012) was born in Long Island City, New York. He enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in November, 1942. Trained in Class 43.H, he graduated and was commissioned at Marianna, Florida. His first assignment was the 9th Air Force flying P-47 Thunderbolts from Christ Church, England with the 405th Fighter Group, 51Oth Fighter Squadron.
He participated in the first flights on the “D-Day Invasion” June 6, 1944 and was later stationed with the same group on Cherbourg at Ste. Mare Eglise and St. Dizier, France. He flew 77 missions including escort, dive bombing, close support, destruction of railroads, ammunition dumps, bridges, tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft and enemy airfields. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters.
He was recalled to active duty in the Reserves May, 1951 and was assigned to the 5th Air Force in Korea with the 12th Fighter Squadron of the 18th Fighter Wing. As a Captain and retread he flew P-51 D’s for 100 missions – close support and ground target destruction much like that of World War II. He was awarded a Cluster to the D.F.C. and 4 additional Clusters to the Air Medal.
Released from active duty in 1952, Santasiero again resumed his banking career and is presently a Vice President of J. Henry Schroder Bank & Trust Company in New York, New York. He married Dorothy Sherry in 1946 and had three children, Barbara, Ralph, Jr., and Dorothy.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com