Edward C. Ryan
Missing In Action (MIA) gunner aboard A-20G 43-9395
by John Eddy via Sue Ryan
Eddie Ryan volunteered to join the US Army on June 5, 1942. He became an aerial gunner assigned to the 8th Bomb Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group. It was reported that he was shot down near New Guinea, which is south east of the Philippines, during the Second World War. Another pilot reported seeing him alive after he was shot down. He is assumed (not certain) to have been killed, even executed, by the Japanese, who were extremely harsh with prisoners in New Guinea.
Edward C. Ryan only partly because he died in the service of his country, Eddie Ryan left a hallowed memory with his family. His spirit of self-sacrifice was not limited to the war. Because his mother, Leah, was made a struggling widow when her husband, also named Edward, was struck in his car by a train when Eddie was little. The boy took upon his own shoulder the burden of support. His support was never small. He didn't remain small for long in stature either. He developed into a tall, rangy, rather handsome youth who double caddied (a bag in each shoulder) at the Rutland Country Club. With a quip and a smile he would toss his earnings under the candlestick on Leah's buffet, all for her to use. He made his own skis and was an excellent mechanic, managing a gas station. Eddie was notable for good morals, a seriousness of purpose leavened by cheerfulness, and a great love for others. His fiancee, Christine Kendall, who died in 1994, was devastated by his loss and did not marry for years afterwards. For quite some time his mother, Leah, would wake up in the middle of the night, thinking she heard Eddie coming up the road whistling in his cheerful manner. Eddies death was a terrific blow to many but he has continued to inspire.