Ray Littge was born on October 18, 1923, in Altenburg, Missouri. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on July 1, 1942, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Dale Mabry Field, Florida, on December 5, 1943. After completing P-51 Mustang training, Lt Littge was assigned to the 487th Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group in England from June 1944 until he returned to the U.S. in June 1945. During this time he was credited with the destruction of 10.5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, including an Me-262 jet fighter, as well as 13 enemy aircraft on the ground while strafing enemy airfields. Capt Littge left active duty on December 19, 1946, and served in the Air Force Reserve until returning to active duty on March 17, 1947.
He was killed in the crash of his F-84 Thunderjet near Maupin, Oregon, on May 20, 1949, while he was serving with the 83rd Fighter Squadron of the 78th Fighter Group at Hamilton AFB, California. His son, Raymond H. Littge, II, also became an Air Force pilot, served in combat during the Vietnam War, and was killed in a flying accident at Nellis AFB, Nevada, in 1979.
His Distinguished Service Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in action while serving as Pilot
of a P-51 Fighter Plane of the 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in
action while leading a flight of P-51 aircraft in a strafing attack on
an airdrome at Platting, Germany, on 17 April 1945. Captain Littge and
his flight destroyed fourteen airplanes, of which Captain Littge
personally accounted for six. During this attack, Captain Littge's
airplane sustained severe damage, including one and one-half feet shot
off the left wing tip, damage to the oil line causing a serious leak,
and a gaping hole where the middle gun of the left wing was also shot
out. However, he carried out seven additional strafing attacks against
the airdrome. The determinartion, coolness, and courage displayed by
Captain Littge on this occasion reflects the highest credit upon himself and
the Armed Forces of the United States.