Do you know this WWII serviceman?

Carl, the mystery flier, holds Tommy Ragsdale

Carl, the mystery flier, holds Tommy Ragsdale.

A request came in to The Morning Call a few weeks ago to print a World War II photo from Montgomery,Ala., and I got to handle it.

In the photo taken sometime between 1943 and 1945, Tommy Ragsdale is a toddler on the arm of an Army Air Forces flier from Allentown, Pa. The scene is Tommy’s neighborhood in Montgomery, home of Maxwell Air Force Base.

Tommy wants to get in touch with the flier or his relatives. The trouble is, he knows the man only by his first name, Carl. So he was asking the newspaper in the flier’s hometown to publish the photo in hopes someone might recognize Carl, who roomed with Tommy’s family in the early 1940s.

“During World War II, the availability of housing was so tight in Montgomery, many of the Air Force members and their wives roomed in homes all over Montgomery,” Tommy said in an email. “Many probably remember their family inviting the service people in.”

Tommy said Carl had Christmas dinner with his family, went home to Allentown
and sent back this picture.

We decided to post the photo and information on The Morning Call’s website. It got a lot of views last week, but not – so far as I know – from anyone who could identify Carl. I’m posting the image with this blog, and you can still see it on the
newspaper’s site at:,0,4090864.story

If you can shed any light on this, email Tommy at:

I’m guessing Tommy is one of many folks trying to reconnect with people they crossed paths with almost seven decades ago, when young Americans traversed the country on their road to war.

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