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Frank C. Marpe Jr.
720th Squadron

Frank Marpe and his crew were part of the original deployment to Manduria in December 1943. They flew their first mission in January 1944.

On April 5th 1944 while on a mission to Ploesti, Frank and his crew were attacked by enemy aircraft causing a fire and the crew to bail out.

The following article was taken from, "The Evening Tribune," Albert Lea, Minn.

DSC Citation Tells How Lt. Marpe Gave His Life

Unselfishness and courage, both in the highest degree, cost young Lt. Marpe his life. He gave his parachute to a crew member who had none. Then, ordering the plane crew to abandon the flak-riddled ship, the pilot hero fought successfully to keep his ship in steady flight until he crashed in flames in the target area, at Ploesti Rumania.
First Lieutenant Frank C. Marpe, Jr., Air Corps, USA, was the son of Captain and Mrs. Frank C. Marpe, 116 E. Clark street. Before entering the army, he had lived all his life in this city, attended the local schools. He earned the rank of Eagle scout in his Boy Scout troop.
Yesterday, the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest decoration, was posthumously awarded to the departed airman. Details of his inspiring conduct are given in the citation accompanying the award:

Link To DSC Citation

The crew of the April 5th 1944 mission were as follows:

2nd Lt. Richard H. Middleton - Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. Joseph J. Joyce - Navigator
S/Sgt. Earl E. Boran Jr. - Assistant Engineer
1st Lt. Frank C. Marpe Jr. - Pilot
2nd Lt. Lawrence B. Guthrie - Bombardier
S/Sgt. Marian D. Anderson - Gunner
S/Sgt. Oscar C. Burnhill - Gunner
S/Sgt. Jay R. Adair - Gunner
T/Sgt. Francis A. Matan - Radio Operator
T/Sgt. Joseph W. Dunn - Engineer

Dunn and Boren were the only survivors and were POW's.

Link to Crew Picture

Information provided by Fred Marpe, brother of Frank Marpe.

If any information is being used out of context or if you would like to use some of this information, please contact the Webmaster

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