Lt. Ryan, of Los Angeles, California, flew plane number 43-12130, called "ROBERTA", named after his daughter Roberta. He was killed on April 5, 1944 on a mission over France with a record of 4 kills and 4 damaged aircraft. The squadron history recorded this on that day in April 1944: "Chonches (Orleans Area) Fighter Sweep: Lt. Col. Bickell led the squadron and group in straffing an airdrome near Orleans. Lt.E. Ryan , one of the best fighter pilots to climb into a Mustang - a real ace- was one of the last pilots over the T/G. His plane either was hit by flak , or it grazed a hanger on the field - the plane evidently exploded, setting a fuel dump on fire. We didn't think that we'd accomplished enough through straffing this one field to justify the loss of one of our pilots....but that was straffing. The damage we caused was comparitively negligible we thought - our loss was great. It just didn't add up - very little in war makes sense - C'est Le Guerre.
Lt. Ryan received his first oak leaf cluster to his Air Medal on March 3,1944 in accordance with general order 48.
On the mission of March 23,1944 Lt. Ryan is mentioned again as wingman diving with Lt. Daudert after an ME-109. On this mission over Brunswick the group was led by Lt. Col. Bickell and the squadron by Capt. G. Long. "Uncle George (Col. Bickell) flew with the 356th FS . We couldn't make R/V with the B/F's today. We saw contrails in the area west of Hannover at 30,000 ft. These contrails, thought at first to be B/F (Big Friends) turned out to be 20 plus E/A. Lt. Simmons bounced two ME-109's who were flying at an altitude of 33,000 ft. He destroyed one ME-109 and damaged another just as they dived on two Mustangs. One of the Mustangs was hit- but the Messerschmitts broke off their attack. "Wild Bill" Simmons closed in and let one have a good burst. He saw hits and smoke coming out of the engine - pieces fell off. This plane started down so he went after another one . He gave this Jerry a couple of bursts and observed strikes. The E/A started to spin. A chute was seen opening from one of the ME-109's. Lt. O'Hair was in the Mustang that got hit - he got home allright - with a great gaping hole in his tail. Lt. Daudert was diving with Lt. Ryan after an Me-109. He was not with Lt. Ryan when he pulled out of his dive ... so we are not sure what happened to him. He did not come back.
"Mac" McIntosh was hit by one of two ME-109's, as they attacked Red Lead Flight. Lt. Lynn Cocker saw hits on "Mac's" left wing -- nowhere else -- he spun out ... we hope he bailed out successfully. Lt. Ryan dove from 33,000 feet to 5,000 feet to destroy an ME-109."
Lt. Ryan was awarded for his meritorious service in the Army Air Corp the Silver Star, the Air Medal with 6 oakleaf clusters and the Purple Heart.
He is buried in Epinal National Cemetary in France.