Captain Karl W Augenstein USAF (1924-1954) was a German immigrant from Cranston who, as a teenager, made the decision to fight for his adopted country. He became a WWII B-24 bomber pilot, flying 11 combat missions before German capitulation in May 1945.
As a civilian, he was the corporate pilot for Bulova Watch Company. He returned to the military in 1948 as a 1/LT in the RI Air National Guard. He transitioned to fighters and qualified in the F-51 Mustang, seeing stateside service during the Korean conflict. After qualifying in the F84D Thunderjet, he was killed when he crashed after takeoff from Bradley Field in Connecticut in August 1954 while on a training flight for the Guard.