Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: April 12

April 12, 1921 – According to word received today by Daniel K. Gracie, father of Ralph D. Gracie, former Bemidji resident who was killed in action Aug. 12, 1918, the remains of the deceased will leave Jersey City tomorrow evening at 5:30 and will arrive in Bemidji on the Minnesota and International railway.


Ralph D. Gracie1

Gracie met his death serving his country in the aviation section of the U. S. Army during WWI. While engaged in an air battle, Gracie was overcome by an overwhelming number of German planes and it is believed that he was mortally wounded before his plane dropped into the sea. According to a note sent to the aviation officials the next day, the Germans recovered the body, and held a military burial and marked the grave with a cross bearing identification.

The American Legion Ralph Gracie Post 14 in Bemidji is named in his honor.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Ralph Gracie Remains Being shipped Today”; April 13, 1921; p. 1

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Legion Post Presented With Handsome Photo of Its Heroic Mentor. Father of Ralph Gracie Makes Presentation; in Tribute to His Son.”; Dec. 20, 1919; p. 1.


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