This bag was owned by Staff Sergeant Ralph D Trout (1921-2008). Trout was from Logan, Iowa. He worked as a letter carrier for the Post Office, before he enlisted in the US Forces on 9 July 1942. After transferring to the US Army Air Forces in April 1943 he attended armament training at Lowry field, Colorado, then Gunnery training at Tyndall Field, Florida, before returning to Iowa to completed overseas training at Sioux City.
Trout joined the 398th Bomb Group on 29 May 1944, serving as a ball turret gunner from Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire. He completed 30 missions during his tour, including two long distance missions to Brux in the Czechoslovakia. On one mission Trout lost power to his electrically heated flight suit, and he was forced to virtually stand on his head inside the ball turret to reconnect it to the plug to prevent himself from freezing to death.Trout's final mission was to Zeitz, Germany, his friend, and regular tail gunner Felix Byrne was sent on the same mission in order to complete his mission quota, but was aboard another aircraft which was hit by flak and destroyed.
Trout was discharged from the US Forces on 20 August 1945, he returned to the Post Office, until re-joining the US Forces during the Korean War on 8 October 1950, where he served as a base postal officer at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois until 7 March 1952.