My cousin, Sgt. John Henry Murphy (S/N 18133844) was a member of the 47th Bombardment Group, 97th Squadron. He was flying as upper gunner when his aircraft (A20-B, S/N 41-3404) was shot down in 03/27/1944 while on a bombing mission flying out of Capodichino, Italy. All crew members (Pilot 2nd Lt. William Hardy, S/N O-798293, and Gunner Bruce Kuckenbecker, S/N 39552001) bailed out safely and were taken prisoners by the Germans (see MACR #3645). Sgt. Murphy spent some time in hospital, and was therefore separated from his crew mates. After recuperating and placement in a POW camp at Lattern, Italy, he managed to escape and eventually make his way back to the 97th.
MACR # 3645: www.47thbombgroup.org/macr/3645.html
The first document (2 pages) is his statement after returning to his unit.
The second document is a copy of two newspaper clippings.
One was published on 04/26/1944 after his mother (my mother's sister) received notice that he was MIA -- can you imagine the heartbreak?
The second was published when he came home on leave after his POW experience. The date is not included on this clipping, but I believe it was in late 1944. I was six years old when this occurred, and remember it -- I was much impressed by the monkey.
The third document is a newspaper clipping showing John Henry with one of his models (I think it's a Navy F4U Corsair). I don't know the time or place of this photo, but believe it was after the war, probably in the Dayton, Ohio area near Wright-Patterson AFB. He had great skill and talent in constructing intricate models, prototypes, exhibits, etc. He settled in the Dayton area and made his living doing this kind of work. I believe he had his own business. He married and raised a family in the Dayton area.
We found this material in my late Mother's personal effects, and it picqued my interest to learn more.
John Henry died several decades ago, at a relatively young age. I'm not sure of the date.
I would be very glad to play some small part in keeping alive the memory of these extraordinary men. Our country owes them a tremendous debt of gratitude -- a fact that most of our people today don't seem to be aware of or care about.