Rae Guy DeMatteis (1925-1945)

Rae Guy DeMatteis

Rae DeMatteis was born and raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania, where he and his older brother, Michael DeMatteis, Class of 1942, attended Altoona High School. He spent a year and a half at Dickinson College, participating with his brother in varsity soccer before leaving in December, 1942 to train as an aviator.

DeMatteis was assigned to the 15th Air Force in Italy. On March 22, 1945, he was participating in one of the epic 1500 mile round trip flights from Foggia to Berlin when his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Ruhland. With a damaged plane, the crew intended to attempt a crash landing behind advancing Russian lines but they were hit by further fighter attack, forcing them to bail out. Some members of the crew survived but DeMatteis was not found among them. He was reported missing in action as of March 22, 1945, four months before his twentieth birthday, and is presumed to have perished in the crash. Despite the best efforts of his family, to this day the full circumstances of Lt. DeMatteis' disappearance have not been ascertained.

More information about other Dickinson war casualties can be found through the online project "In Remembrance" (see link for related entries below).

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Dickinson College Archives
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