In Honored Glory!

World War II Honor Roll

Ronald J. Pearce

Staff Sergeant, 
U.S. Army Air Forces


338th Bomber Squadron, 
96th Bomber Group, Heavy

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: May 8, 1944
Buried at: Plot C Row 17 Grave 5
Ardennes American Cemetery
Neupre, Belgium
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

STAFF SERGEANT RONALD J. PEARCE was born in 1914 in New Jersey to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Pearce. He grew up in Camden NJ. His father worked as a bartender in a cafeteria. By 1930, Mrs. Pearce had passed on, and Ronald and Harry Pearce lived in the home of older brother Lester Pearce, a shipyard machinist, who lived at 921 Fern Street in North Camden. Also there was a younger brother, Clarence, sister-in-law Elizabeth Pearce, and Lester's two daughters. Ronald Pearce had left school, and was working as a salesman in a retail chain store.

Ronald Pearce later worked at a book bindery in Philadelphia, and made his home in East Camden, at 3404 Federal Street. He was inducted into the Army in July of 1942. Qualifying for flight duty, he was trained in aerial gunnery and assigned to a B-17 bomber crew. Before shipping out for England, he received a furlough in September of 1943, and was married. The Pearces made their home at 330 Delancey Street in Philadelphia PA. 

Once overseas, Staff Sergeant Ronald Pearce and his crew were assigned to the 338th Bomber Squadron, 96th Bomber Group, Heavy. He completed 29 missions, and had received the Air medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, before being killed in action over Germany on May 8, 1944.


Former Camden Resident, Holder of Six Awards, Among New Casualties

Fifteen South Jersey men were among the 1511 reported by the War Department today as killed in action on the six fighting fronts. Two others from this area are reported missing.

Staff Sergeant Ronald J. Pearce, of 330 Delancey Street, Philadelphia, formerly of 3404 Federal Street, Camden.
Private First Class Charles La Porta, of 142 Chestnut Street, Williamstown.
Private Frank Ballerino, of 2004 South 10th Street, Camden.
Sergeant Elmer F. Day, of 521 Lexington Avenue, Merchantville.
Corporal William T. Eastlack, of 142 I Street, Carney's Point.
Private Clarence T. Jaggers, of Columbia Road and St. James Walk, National Park.
Sergeant Carl E. Johanson, of 5019 Jefferson Avenue, Pennsauken.
Corporal Steven V. Koscianski, of 966 Bulson Street, Camden.
Private First Class William R. McKeon, of Pine Avenue, Blackwood.
Sergeant Andrew W. Olsen, of Dorothy.
Corporal Aldo Steffanice, of 74 Norman Avenue, Pennsgrove.
Private First Class John A. Landicina, of 402 Southeast Avenue, Vineland.
Michael Carr, of 1059 Everett Street, Camden.
Captain Carlton P. Hogan, of 207 East Union Street, Burlington.
Corporal Millard E. Buckingham, of 38 Grant Street, Deepwater.

Lt. Robert Probasco, of Shiloh.
Lt. John Ruggiero, of Bridgeboro Road, Beverly.

3 On Troopship Lost

Ballerino, Koscianski, and Carr are believed to have met their fates on the same transport. War Department telegrams to families of all three men reveal that each was a passenger on a troopship that was lost due to enemy action in the Mediterranean on Nov. 27, 1943. All have been awarded Purple Hearts.

This was the closest that the general public got to the truth of the matter. As a matter of fact, 12 of the fifteen men listed above were on that transport, the HMTS Rohna. Five other Rohna victims were also on the War Department casualty lists for that day. 

Staff Sergeant Pearce, 30, was the holder of the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters. He was a waist gunner on the Flying Fortress "Stormy Weather" and was reported killed on his 29th mission over Germany, in a telegram to his wife, Rita. He entered the service in July of 1942. He was married last September and moved to the Philadelphia address. Before entering the service he was employed at a Philadelphia bookbindery.

The following reported as dead in today's official casualty list were previously reported as missing: Sergeant Day, Private Jaggers, Corporal Koscianski, Private McKeon, and Private Steffanice.

Also listed as dead in today's official casualty list but previously reported in these columns are: Private Michael Yachus, 679 Ferry Avenue, Camden; Joseph H. Johnson, 1273 South Merrimac Road, Camden; Private Harry V. Taylor, 3 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield; Private Merl H. Reagle, Maple Avenue, Lindenwold; Private Jacob K. Jenkins, Marne Highway, Mt. Holly, formerly of Pennsauken; Private Harry E. Harker, 6 Beach Avenue Blackwood; PFC Jack S. Dubois,  Church Street, Williamstown, and Charles R. Stewart Jr., 319 Linden Street, Camden.

3404 Federal Street
Camden NJ

December 7, 2002