Sg Joseph Marsh 35 sqdn, died July 1943 RAFVR

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by ChrisinBlackpool, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. ChrisinBlackpool

    ChrisinBlackpool Junior Member

    Hi, I live in Blackpool and sadly am unable to get down to London.

    I will post information that I have obtained on my Great Uncle Joe and ask if anyone who is going to Runnymede some time in the future could take a photo of this panel for me please.

    In Memory of JOSEPH MARSH Sergeant 1080667
    35 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died on Wednesday, 14th July 1943. Age 23.
    Additional Information: Son of Joseph William and Ellen Marsh, of Upholland, Lancashire.

    Commemorative Information
    Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey, United Kingdom
    Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Panel 158.

    I know my mum and her sister would be thrilled to be able to see this place and we are talking about trying to get down there, but we all live in Lancashire and the two of them are now into their seventies.
    The two of them have no information at all about what happened to Joe, other than his plane was shot down.. they don't know where or who he was with.

    Many thanks for any help on this one and sorry if I have posted this in the wrong place.
    All the best
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Chris panel attached for you

    In Memory of JOSEPH MARSH Sergeant 1080667
    35 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died on Wednesday, 14th July 1943. Age 23.
    Additional Information: Son of Joseph William and Ellen Marsh, of Upholland, Lancashire.

    Commemorative Information
    Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey, United Kingdom
    Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Panel 158.


    Attached Files:

  3. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Hi Chris,

    One of our members has already photographed the entire set of panels.

    Courtesy of Forum Member CL1 (Clive).

    Rank: Sergeant
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 35 Sqdn.
    Age: 23
    Date of Death: 14/07/1943
    Service No: 1080667
    Additional information: Son of Joseph William and Ellen Marsh, of Upholland, Lancashire.
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 158. Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    Also some information on 35 Squadron.

    RAF History - Bomber Command 60th Anniversary

    Cheers - Rob
  4. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Talk of the man. Snap.:lol:
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  6. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hello Chris, welcome to the forum.

    The following details regarding the loss of your Great Uncle are taken from ' Bomber Command Losses' Vol.4 - W R. Chorley

    13-14 July 1943

    35 squadron
    Halifax II HR819 TL-K
    Op. Aachen

    The aircraft took off from Graveley at 2334 hrs. Those who died have no know grave.


    F/S. E W. Saywell RNZAF - CWGC :: Casualty Details
    Sgt. J. Marsh - CWGC :: Casualty Details
    Sgt. E R. Moore - CWGC :: Casualty Details
    Sgt. F W. Whittaker - CWGC :: Casualty Details
    Sgt. R W. Wisson pow - Held L6/357, pow No.450
    Sgt. S F. Hughes - CWGC :: Casualty Details
    Sgt. F F. Ward - CWGC :: Casualty Details

    The Aachen raid of 13/14 July 1943

    374 aircraft - 214 Halifaxes, 76 Wellingtons, 55 Stirlings, 18 Lancasters, 11 Mosquitos ordered to Aachen. A strong tail wind brought the first waves of the Main Force into the target area before Zero Hour with the result that, when the first Pathfinder markers were released, an unusually large number of aircraft bombed in the first minutes of the raid. The visibility was good and large areas of Aachen appeared to burst into flame at once. In the words of the report from Aachen, 'A Terrorangriff [Terrorattack] of the most severe scale was delivered.' 20 aircraft - 15 Halifaxes, 2 Lancasters, 2 Wellingtons, 1 Stirling - lost, 5.3 per cent of the force.

    'The Bomber Command War Diaries' - M. Middlebrook / C. Everitt
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Chris other casualty panels attached


    1321748, 35 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 21
    on 14 July 1943
    Son of Ernest C. and Bessie Ward, of Hornchurch, Essex.
    Remembered with honour


    1021591, 35 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died
    on 14 July 1943

    Remembered with honour


    1231515, 35 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 20
    on 14 July 1943
    Son of William and Mabel Elizabeth Whittaker, of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Lancashire.
    Remembered with honour


    415372, 35 Sqdn., Royal New Zealand Air Force
    who died age 25
    on 14 July 1943
    Son of Raymond and Margaret Maud Saywell, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.
    Remembered with honour


    1379660, 35 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 30
    on 14 July 1943
    Son of Ernest John and Dorothy Amy Moore; husband of Jessie Louisa Moore, of Enfield, Middlesex.
    Remembered with honour

    Attached Files:

  8. ChrisinBlackpool

    ChrisinBlackpool Junior Member

    From my mum, Shirley H:

    To everyone who has returned to my son Chris so very quickly,
    For sixty years or more we have had no clue as to what happened to my Great Uncle, all we ever knew was that he had been shot down 'somewhere'.

    I can not begin to start to thank you all for your time and help... I really don't know what to say to be honest.. with many tears I thank you so VERY much.

    Chris has spent an hour on the phone reading to me everything that you have sent him and we will re-read it again and again once we get his emails.
    I also hope that my husband Ken can sign up for this site so that we might thank you ourselves.
    I currently have a grandson named James who is RAF mad, he lives for the cadets, and is so, so proud of Joseph, with the information you have given to us all I am sure he will be even more determined to gain his 'wings'.

    I thought you might all like to know my mum was pretty much in tears as I read her the details you have posted... I am sure you have heard that many times.. but your amazing efforts have made my mums day.. and I know right now she will be on the phone to her sister Kath explaining all the details.

    Again thank you all

    pensioner1938 likes this.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  10. Kenandshirley

    Kenandshirley Junior Member

    Subject Uncle Joe (Joseph Marsh) Thank you to everyone who took the time and effort to reply to our son CHRIS yesterday giving us information on our late Uncle Joe.
    As we have not previously had any such information, it has been somewhat overwhelming, but more importantly, has filled in a big gap in the family history.
    Thank you all again very much. K. & S.
  11. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Kenandshirley and ChrisinBlackpool: Welcome and I'm sure everyone involved is delighted to have been of help.. they're a great bunch of people...
    You may not have had time to do much Googling of the information provided, but you should know that 35 Squadron was one of the elite Pathfinder Squadrons, charged with the responsibility of finding the target, accurately marking it and ensuring that the Main Force bombers kept on the target.
    To that end, they were amongst the first to arrive and the last to leave, therefore being exposed to anti aircraft fire and night fighters for longer, to say nothing of weather, icing etc...
    You can read a small amount of information here...
    RAF History - Bomber Command 60th Anniversary
    From the Lost Bombers website, information is extracted as follows:-
    35 Squadron Halifax Mk II. Serial Number: HR819. Squadron Codes: TL-K. Operation: Aachen. 13th /14th July 1943. Airborne at 23:34 13 July 1943 from Graveley. Cause of loss and crash-site not established. Those killed have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. F/Sgt E.W. Saywell RNZAF KIA; Sgt J. Marsh KIA; Sgt E.R. Moore KIA; Sgt F.W. Whittaker KIA; Sgt R.W. Wisson PoW; Sgt S.F. Hughes KIA and Sgt F.F. Ward KIA. Sgt R.W.Wisson was interned in Camps L6/357, PoW No.450.

    There was a survivor and therefore when released from PoW Camp Sgt Wisson should have completed a Statement which may give more details about the loss of the aircraft, perhaps even some indication of where they were when they crashed (before target, over target, on way home etc). For most, Runnymede signifies a crew lost over the North Sea, Channel etc, but for a crew member to have survived might indicate that they were hit over enemy territory. It may be some comfort that he may be an "Unknown Airman" in a CWGC grave, rather than in the cold waters of the North Sea...
    Additionally, as there was a RNZAF crew member aboard, the NZ authorities may have more information in their files than were retained in the RAF files, so it would be worth at least an email contact to see what may be found.
    There may be an active 35 Squadron Association, worth a Google...
    You may not realise it, but the Mk II Halifax had the in line Merlin engines, the same as those on the Lancaster, not the usual radial engines....
    My particular interest is in another Halifax, HR732 which also was lost without trace, yet the pilots wedding ring was returned some years after the War, with no other information.

    I'm sure other Pals will pitch in with further details if they have them.
    CL1 likes this.
  12. Kenandshirley

    Kenandshirley Junior Member

    Hello Kevin w4, Just to say thank you and how impressed we are with this enquiry. it is blowing our minds getting to know things that we maybe should have known before now... will keep looking and following all the very good help and advice we have been given so far... thank you again K.& S.
  13. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    I decided to have a look at this one in depth and found some interesting but sad information.

    The pilot of the downed aircraft (Flt/Sjt Saywell) first appeared on strength of 35 Squadron in June 1943. (See under Airman pilots - bottom right).


    This would appear to be the crews first mission on the night of 13/14 July 1943 and sadly for all bar one, the last one. They took off at 23:35 hrs on the 13th July 1943 and nothing further was heard from them.


    A page from another part of the ORB showing that of the 18 aircraft that took off the one flown by Flt/Sjt Saywell did not return.


    There was one survivor, Ronald Wisson and I found his returning POW form. He was captured on the 14th July, near Munchen Gladbach, indicating where the plane was brought down. No mention of his comrades and one can only assume that he never knew their fate until after he returned.


  14. ChrisinBlackpool

    ChrisinBlackpool Junior Member

    WOW.. don't know what to say really.. amazing .. but as you say, very sad...
    This must have taken you a long time to find so thank you so, so much for this.. now we have even more than we could have ever hoped for.

    I do now wondered what happened to Ronald..

    Very best wishes to you Ramacal
    I'm sure my parents will be posting to this very soon...
  15. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Not very long at all Chris.

    Thanks to another Forum Member (ADM199 - Brian) for giving me the POW file ref number for Saywell. The ORB records were no problem either.

    Regards - Rob
  16. ChrisinBlackpool

    ChrisinBlackpool Junior Member

    Rob, I think I understand why you say this would have been the crews first mission.. because of when FS Sewell arrived on base, but does that mean that it was Uncle Joe's or any of the other crew??

    I guess we really need to send for his record to find that out???

    Replying to your PM now as well....

    OHh And Brian (ADM199), many thanks for your help in this... really don't know how to express my feeling right now... THANK YOU ALL.
  17. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA


    I looked back over the missions and could not find any others they did whilst with 35 Squadron. If Joseph and the others came in as well from another Squadron, only the service records would tell you that.

    Cheers - Rob
  18. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA


    I did a google search of Ronald Wisson, the only survivor and found an entry about his passing away in 2008 in the London Gazette. With the information I found yesterday morning, I have managed to make contact with his relatives via a third party and they are interested in passing on any information they have. Apparently they are in possession of a report about the investigation of the crash site.

    What convinced me that I had found the right person, was that Mr Wisson had a certificate which related to membership of something called the "Caterpiller Club". Not knowing what this meant, I found that it is an informal club, the qualifying criteria being the successful escape from a disabled aircraft by parachute. This must be him I thought and it proves to be the case. I will keep you informed of developments.

    Regards - Rob
  19. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    I have been given some great information on the events which led to the shooting down of this aircraft.

    This is the link to a German webite about the subject.

    Absturzstelle zwischen Venlo und Leuth - Besatzungsmitglied bittet um Hilfe [Archiv] -

    Apparently, Mr Wisson was helping the relatives of the Pilot, Flt. Sjt Saywell 2 years before he passed away and this was posted by him on a German website in March 2006 and I quote what he wrote:-

    SGT R W WISSON 1267837 WOP/AG


    We were attacked by a night fighter in the Venlo area while on route to Aachen, the nightfigher was positively identified by our airgunners as a ME110. Our starboard wing was hit and was completely in flames. The order was giiven to bail out and I escaped through the hatch inder the nose. After my parachute opened I saw the A/C in a ball of fire go through a layer of cloud which was about 8000 feet. Several minutes later there was a glow in the clouds as the A/C exploded on hitting the ground

    I was captured in the morning by a German farmer and taken to a farmhouse, Shortly afterwards a policeman arived with a bicycle with my parachute strapped on the back. I was then taken to a Luftwaffe airfield which was within walking distance about 2 or 3 miles.I was locked in a cell in the guardroom and taken the next day to a railway station with several other aircrew who had been captured. We went to Frankfurt to the Dulagluft Interrogation Camp, and then eventually yo Stalag Luft 6. My POW number was 450.

    I have some documents covering the shooting down which I will send to you by airmail as my scanner not working.

    I have been assisting the Saywell family in research and want they want to know is:-

    1. Where was Flt/Sgt Saywell buried.
    2. What was the precise position of the A/C crash site."
  20. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Further information and I quote:-

    "If you go to Google Earth and enter the following co-ordinates: 51 22’ 07.67”N 6 12’ 42.48”E you will see the remains of the Luftwaffe airbase at Venlo.

    It is thought that the ME110 that shot down the Halifax flew from here.

    If Mr Wisson’s account is accurate, the actual crash site is in the woods to the south east, according to the German historians.

    It also seems that Mr Marsh was sadly killed by one of the most decorated Luftwaffe night-fighter commanders of the war, Hans Dieter Frank of JG1."

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