Roy E. Braly, 88

The Baltimore Sun

Roy E. Braly, a retired Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. engineer and decorated World War II bomber pilot, died Sunday of complications from an infection at the Augsburg Lutheran Home and Village in Arbutus. He was 88.

Mr. Braly, the son of an airport owner, was born and raised in Spring Lake, N.J. He was a graduate of Asbury Park High School in New Jersey.

His interest in flying began when he was a youngster.

"One time, he flew with Amelia Earhart from his father's airport to see the arrival of the Hindenburg at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station," said his wife of 12 years, the former Jeanne Macon.

Mr. Braly enlisted during World War II and was trained as a B-24 bomber pilot.

He was assigned to the 8th Air Force in England and participated in the historic raids on the Ploesti oil fields in Romania that supplied Nazi Germany with most of its oil.

Mr. Braly, a command pilot, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for participating in the mission. He also earned a Purple Heart.

He was shot down in 1943 over Barth, Germany, while returning from a bombing run over Bremen, and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner, assigned to Stalag Luft 1.

Discharged with the rank of captain, he remained in the Air Force Reserve for 20 years, where he attained the rank of colonel.

After the war, he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned an engineering degree on the GI Bill in 1949.

He worked for 34 years as a senior underground engineer with BGE's distribution engineering department, until retiring in 1983.

The former longtime Sudbrook Park resident, who moved to the retirement community in 2006, enjoyed reading and golfing.

Mr. Braly left his body to the Maryland Anatomy Board.

A memorial gathering will be held at 1 p.m. April 13 in the community room at the Augsburg Lutheran Home and Village, 6811 Campfield Road.

Also surviving are a son, Ken Braly of San Jose, Calif.; and a granddaughter. His first wife, the former Dorothy Sterner, died in 1983. His second wife, the former Hilda Bechtel, died in 1995. A son, Keith Braly, died in 1992.

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