Absolutely Fearless

You’re going to love this. I’ve just found out about a real Lutheran hero, Raymond H. Littge, and a new book about him, Absolutely Fearless: The Life of Raymond H Littge, Missouri’s Top Scoring WWII Fight Pilot Acepublished last November. AND, to top off that, all profits from the book go to the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum in Altenberg, Missouri! What a great tribute to Lutheran history in Perry County!

It’s not actually written by a Lutheran, I presume, though I think a lot of you will find this good to know, too. There’s a company based in St. Louis called “Write for You: Life Stories, LLC” that seems to do a brisk business helping people research and write these kinds of books. Smart! Good to know. 

Raymond Littge’s nephew, Richard Schmelig, commissioned the book in honor of his uncle, Missouri’s top-ranked fighter ace in World War II. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve already heard that it is well-written and immensely enjoyable, including an Appendix of Raymond’s sister Altheda Schmelig’s journal, which is fascinating and touching, with lots of local/St. Louis/Lutheran color.


Here’s the short introduction from the Amazon blurb:

The 352nd Fighter Group, known as the Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney, was one of the most highly decorated fighter groups of the entire Second World War. It produced many aces, including Raymond H. Littge. This book tells the story of Ray’s short life, focusing on his years as a P-51 Mustang pilot in Europe during World War II.

Now here’s a longer description taken from some correspondence: 

The book begins with Ray’s childhood and follows his life through high school, enlistment in the Army Air Corps, his training stateside and his service in Europe during WWII. 

Ray’s missions included flying cover for the D Day Invasion, Battle of the Bulge, Market Garden, Y-29 and Operation Plunder, part of the Rhineland Offensive.  He flew many bomber escort missions where he encountered flak and aerial combat.  He is credited with 23 ½  enemy aircraft destroyed, making him Missouri’s top ranked Ace in the War.  

For his heroism, valor and fearless aggressive air attacks, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (second only to the medal of honor), the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, five air medals and 15 Oak Leaf Clusters, with each Oak Leaf awarded for single acts of heroism.  He also received The Unit Citation now called the Presidential Unit Citation, and the French Croix De Guerre with Palm which was awarded for exceptional bravery.

A Lutheran Hero!

What a hero! I’m interested and inspired! In fact, I’m so excited that I’m going to start another little project of my own. I’m going to try to gather up names and titles of Lutheran heroes of every kind! That way we can better remember our brothers and sisters in all their courage and sacrifice!

By all means, get Absolutely Fearless for every mature high schooler and history fan you know! And, if you get a chance, stop by and visit the Lutheran Heritage Center in Altenburg, Missouri, to see their collection and a display for our brother in Christ Raymond.

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