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LT  Merril T. RISH

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P

 Merril T. Rish Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 SPIRIT O' 44, A/C 238044 EP-R. (Photo courtesy of Earl Rudolph) 

SERIAL #: O-742258 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 03026 CR: 03026

Comments1: 6 MAR 44 BERLIN (SEE HELMICK MEMO)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt Merril T.Rish                           P KIA   6/3/44 BERLIN
2nd Lt Frank A.Smith                       CP KIA   6/3/44 BERLIN
2nd Lt Royal W..Lingenfelter           NAV  POW 6/3/44 BERLIN   TAPS: 1975
2nd Lt Donald K "Heinie" Kehm     BOM  POW 6/3/44  BERLIN  TAPS: 1977
S/Sgt George F.Danehower            R0G  POW  6/3/44 BERLIN 
 S/Sgt Howard T.Skaggs,Jr.            TTE POW   6/3/44 BERLIN   TAPS: 1980
 S/Sgt Estil V. McGuffee               LWG POW  6/3/44 BERLIN
  Sgt Angus Alsup                          TG KIA    6/3/44  BERLIN
  Sgt Armand C.Burt                    RWG POW  6/3/44 BERLIN
  Sgt Chester L.Powell                  BTG KIA   28/5/44 GERA, CITY & MAGDEBURG, OIL REF (With crew of L.G.Lacy) SEE BELOW

351st Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 28/11/43. 
 A/C #42 38044 Spirit o’ 44
MACR #3026,Micro fiche #1023

On 6/3/44, Sgt.Powell was replaced by Sgt.DEWY ESSARY who was KIA. This was about the 17th mission for this 
crew but only the 4th for ESSARY.See: p44 S.O.C. 

A statement given by Don Kehm (then a Master Sgt) a short time after the war is as follows:  "…..Greman fighters attacked in a group out of the sun at 12 O'clock high. We received numerous hits, fire was visible around #3 engine. The plane immediately went into a tight spin. Centrifugal force prevented me from releasing the escape hatch. Ships inter phone was not operating. At about 3, 000 feet the tail broke off of the aircraft and the ship then began to climb & I could see all the objects coming toward me. The plane must have exploded as next I awoke on the ground with two German soldiers approaching me. I was taken to Quackenbush (Quackenbruck) jail."

According to statements by Estil V. McGuffee, he, Howard T. Skaggs, and Royal W. Lingenfelter were blown out but George F. Danehower, Armand C. Burt and Donald K. Kehm may have baled out.

Sgt Esssry's dog tags were found in the wreckage and it is thought his remains were have been consumed by the fire.

THIS CREW IS PICTURED IN KEITH FERRIS'S FAMOUS PAINTING OF THE THREE 100TH AIRCRAFT IN THE VICINITY OF HASELEUNNE ON THE BERLIN MISISON OF 06 MAR 44.  THE PAINTING CAN BE SEEN ON THE COVER OF THE BOOK "TARGET BERLIN; MISSION 250" BY JEFFREY L ETHELL AND ALFRED PRICE.  RISH'S  AIRCRAFT IS TOP PLANE IN THE THREE PLANE PAINTING, IT IS FURTHER IDENTIFIED BY THE SQUADRON MARKINGS OF EP-R "SPIRIT O’ 44".


Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target
3/3/1944 63 122 ESSARY D. SGT BTG 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 RISH M.T. LT P 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 SMITH F.A. LT CP 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 LINGENFELTER R.W. LT NAV 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 KEHM D.K. LT BOM 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 SKAGGS H.T. T/SGT TTE 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 BURT A.C. S/SGT RWG 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 MCGUFFEE E.V. S/SGT LWG 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 ALSUP A. S/SGT TG 38044 BERLIN
3/3/1944 63 122 DANEHOWER G.F. T/SGT ROG 38044 BERLIN

3/4/1944 63 123 KEHM D.K. LT BOM 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 RISH M.T. LT P 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 LINGENFELTER R.W. LT NAV 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 DANEHOWER G.F. T/SGT ROG 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 SKAGGS H.T. T/SGT TTE 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 ESSARY D. SGT BTG 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 BURT A.C. S/SGT RWG 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 MCGUFFEE E.V. S/SGT LWG 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 ALSUP A. S/SGT TG 38044 BERLIN
3/4/1944 63 123 SMITH F.A. LT CP 38044 BERLIN

3/6/1944 63 124 BURT A.C. S/SGT RWG 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 SKAGGS H.T. T/SGT TTE 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 MCGUFFEE E.V. S/SGT LWG 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 RISH M.T. LT P 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 ESSARY D. SGT BTG 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 DANEHOWER G.F. T/SGT ROG 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 KEHM D.K. LT BOM 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 LINGENFELTER R.W. LT NAV 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 SMITH F.A. LT CP 38044 BERLIN
3/6/1944 63 124 ALSUP A. S/SGT TG 38044 BERLIN
**************************************************************************************************************


1ST LT LUCIUS G. LACY                P POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA
2ND LT CLAUDE E. SCHINDLER       CP KIA FROM THE R.V.E. MONRAD CREW
2ND LT RAYMOND E. ROSSMAN   NAV POW FROM THE C.W WOLDT CREW
2ND LT HERBERT GREENBURG     BOM POW FROM THE R.H.HELMICK CREW
T/SGT CLARENCE H. WOOD        ROG POW 
T/SGT SIDNEY A. CARY            TTE POW FROM THE R.V.E. MONRAD CREW
S/SGT CHESTER L. POWELL      BTG KIA FROM THE M.T.RISH CREW (see below)
S/SGT JOE FOLSOM              RWG KIA 
S/SGT RAYMOND J. MITCHELL   LWG POW 
S/SGT MICHAEL ROTZ               TG POW FROM THE T. MURPHY CREW (PICCADILLY LILY)

When Sgt Hilburn was RFS after 7 missions, S/Sgt Raymond Mitchell moved to LWG.  By March 1944 S/Sgt Reneau had moved to Lt Massol's Crew as WG and was replaced on the  S/Sgt Joe Folsom had taken over the RWG position.  The BTG position was manned by several different crewman, S/Sgt L. Black, S/Sgt Chester Powell, S/Sgt J.M. Roberts, & S/Sgt C.L. Morrow from the 350th BS. T/Sgt Sidney A. Cary took over the TTE postion when T/Sgt Carknard was KIA on 11 Apr 44.  S/Sgt Joseph A Howell served as TG on this crew until 15 Mar 44 Brunswick Mission then is replaced by S/Sgt Michael Rotz from Capt T.E. Murphy Crew.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Berlin DATE: 1944-03-06  
AIRCRAFT: "Spirit of 44" (42-39044) CAUSE: EAC & Explosion  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

The Merril T. Rish Crew (left to right)
Back:  Estil McGuffee, Donald Kehm, Royal Lingenfelter, Frank Smith, Merril Rish 
Front:  Armand Burt, George Danehower, Angus Alsup, Howard Skaggs, Mike Kosh 
Kosh grounded - replaced by Chester L. Powell  

 Merril T. Rish crew Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

Newspaper article on L Merril Rish MIA

Burial service for Lt. Merril T. Rish (courtesy of the Rish family)

Letter to the family of Merril Rish (courtesy of the Rish family)

Letter from Royal Lingenfelter to the family of Merril Rish (courtesy of the Rish family)

Letter to the family of Merril Rish from S/Sgt Armand Burt (courtesy of the Rish family)

Letter sent home from Lt. Merril Rish, dated 22 February 1944 (courtesy of the Rish family)

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 4386