Joseph C. Marsh (1944/01/29)
For almost three months the fate of Joe Marsh remained a mystery.
Joseph Cowles Marsh was born in Watsonville on December 1, 1921, to Lynn and Lillian Marsh of Freedom. Joe and his brother Robert attended local schools and in 1935, he enrolled in Watsonville High School. In high school he played on the football team, was active in the Spanish club and worked on the Manzanita yearbook. Outside of school he participated in the DeMolay fraternal organization and earned his Eagle Scout badge. After Joe graduated in 1939, he enrolled in Salinas Junior College and completed that school's two-year program.
In 1941 Joseph Marsh was employed by Pacific Gas and Electric in the maintenance department and became active in the Pajaro Valley community by joining the 20-30 Club and the Masons.
Marsh enlisted in the army's aviation training program on July 23, 1942, and was called into the service in February 1943. Cadet Marsh was sent to Santa Ana, California, for his primary training, followed by advanced training at Visalia and Lancaster, California, and Williams Field, Arizona. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to a P-38 fighter squadron stationed at Salinas and Santa Maria.
On January 29, 1944, Second Lieutenant Joseph Cowles Marsh and eleven other pilots were returning from Riverside, California, to Santa Maria aboard a bomber when it crashed. Search parties continued to scour the California hills and mountains, but the wreckage was not found until April 19, 1944. The remains of Joseph Marsh were returned to Watsonville, cremated and buried in the Pajaro Valley Memorial Park.
(WRP April 26, 1944 1:4, April 24, 1944)