Date of Death : Mar 6, 1944
Birth Place : San Francisco
Ralph Cheli was a major in the United States Army Air Forces and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. He served as the commanding officer of the 405th Bombardment Squadron in the Fifth Air Force's 38th Bombardment Group, based at Durand Airfield, Port Moresby, New Guinea.
On August 18, 1943, while leading his group of B-25 Mitchells on a low level attack of two Japanese airfields, his bomber was severely damaged. Cheli pressed the attack despite the battle damage, then crash-landed his bomber at sea. He was made a prisoner-of-war and on March 6, 1944, was executed by his captors. During the period when his status was unknown, Cheli was nominated for the Medal of Honor, which he was awarded in October 1943.