Are the first parts of 2nd Lt. Warner H. Marsh jr.’s P-47 found and can he finally be brought home again?
On 5 November 1944 twin-engined American aircraft of type Havoc (A-20), which were escorted by P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes from the 362nd Fighter Group, attacked an ammunition dump northeast of Homburg.
Two of the Thunderbolts collided mid-air and both crashed between Eichelscheider Hof and Bechhofen. Donald H. Willson was Killed in Action in this crash. 2nd Lt. Warner H. Marsh has been listed as Missing In Action since then, however, most probably he also was killed in the mid-air explosion and torn to pieces. Due this reason it that can be assumed that an identification in his case was not successful.
The photo below shows the inscription on the Wall of the Missing on the military cemetery at St. Avold in Lorraine.
2nd Lt. Warner H. Marsh jr. from Texas flew a P-47 D-28-RA, Serial: 42-28463, Marking B8-R that day. He flew with 362nd Fighter Group/ 379th Fighter Squadron.
From the History of 362nd Fighter Group “Mogin’s Maulers” for November 5, 1944: “Three squadrons provided escort for A-20’s to Homburg. It was during the escort mission of the 379th Fighter Squadron that afternoon that we lost two pilots in a mid-air collision – 2nd Lt. W.H. Marsh and D.H. Wilson. Marsh was a new-comer with only a few hours of combat to his credit. Wilson had been with the group for several moves. The death of these two boys not only wrecked the spirits of their close friends in the 379th for weeks, but was a blow to many in the Group who had been fortunate enough to make their acquaintance“.
At the end of March 2015 David Marx, member of Crashed Aircraft Search and Recovery Team, found a piece of aluminium in a wooden area close to Bechhofen. The part was positively identified as part of a P-47. Is this the first part of 2nd Lt. Marsh jr.’s P-47? A search project will be started soon in the area.
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