Vernon Wallace Marsh

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Vernon Wallace Marsh
Vern Marsh uniform.jpg
Vern Marsh in Bunbury (image from Rex Marsh)
Marsh Vern.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 26 Aug 1916
Place of Birth Kelmscott, Western Australia
Death 16 Mar 2010, aged 93
Place of Death Salter Point, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 24 years, 1 month
Description 5'7" (1.70m) tall ; 133lbs
60.328 kg
; fair complexion ; brown eyes ; dark hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Church of England
Address Albany road, Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs. Dulcie Marsh
Military Information
Reg Number W1022 & 38897
Date of Enlistment 10 Oct 1940
Rank Trooper & Leading Aircraftman
Unit/Formation 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment ww2 & No. 21 Squadron RAAF
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 12 Jul 1944 ‒ 20 Jul 1944
Transport Details SS Luis Arguello Darwin to Morotai
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia
Medals Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Vernon Wallace Marsh
Plaque Information
Date of Birth 28 August 1916
Age at Death 93 years
Transcription In Loving Memory of Vernon Wallace Marsh Born 28/08/1916 Died 16/03/2010 Aged 93 Years

Early life

Vern was born in 1916 as the last of six children to Robert and Ellen Marsh, arriving considerably later than his siblings, some 13 years after the couple's fifth child, Owen. Mother Ellen was unwell for some of Vern's childhood, and so his sister Edna (14 years his senior) looked after Vern a great deal. He had the nickname of 'Boy'.

Vern was raised on the family farm, helping his father and attending the Armadale school. He was a keen footballer and was a member of the Armadale Club that were Premiers and winners of the Cosson Cup in 1934. Vern was also very keen on tennis and built a tennis court on the farm.

Electoral Roll entries: 1937 - 1943 at Rowley road, Armadale, farm hand.

War Service

Vern enlisted in the part time Militia on 10 Oct 1940, but was discharged on 24 Mar 1941 in order to join the RAAF. His RAAF enlistment date was 5 Jun 1941. His militia service had been with the 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment ww2 based in Bunbury.

His initial RAAF posting was to No. 4 Recruit Depot RAAF Pearce where from 5 Jun until 26 Jul 1941 he undertook basic induction training for six weeks - primarily drill and basic weapons training. This was followed by some basic technical training as a trainee flight mechanic at the No. 4 School of Technical Training RAAF in North Adelaide from 27 Jul - 18 Oct 1941. On completion of the course he was posted to Ascot Vale in Melbourne's No. 1 Engineering School RAAF on 19 Oct 1941 where he began a three month course designed to train him on aero engines, with the trainees beginning with basic engines and working to more advanced ones as they passed each step. On conclusion of the hanger training, they spent time learning how to maintain and service planes on the airfield.

Graduation was followed by a posting on 27 Jan 1942 to No. 6 Service Flying Training School RAAF at Mallala in South Australia, a pilot training school where aircrew were responsible to maintain the aircraft Avro Ansons. On 4 May 1942 he was transferred to No. 3 Bombing & Air Gunnery School RAAF at Sale in Victoria and there on 1 Jul 1942 he was appointed Leading Aircraftman. However on 7 Jul 1842 he was remustered and reverted to Aircraftman. Four months later on 12 Sep 1942 he was posted to No. 1 Aircraft Depot RAAF at Laverton where he worked on Fairey Battles, again appointed as a Leading Aircraftman, and was given a course on maintaining Merlin engines after which he was remustered as a Fitter with a 50% increase in pay from 6/- per day to 9/-. During this time Vern's wife-to-be (Dulcie Beatrice Sheen 1917 - 2009) travelled to Victoria and they were married in a church in Swanston street, Melbourne during 1942. From 27 Nov 1943 until 16 Dec 1943 Vern was attached to the No. 6 RAAF Hospital.

He was posted to the No. 1 Personnel Depot RAAF from 17 Nov 1944 until 18 Dec 1944 during which time Vern undertook a two week toughening up course in the ranges outside Melbourne. On 29 Dec 1944 Vern was posted to No. 42 Squadron RAAF which was equipped with Consolidated PBY Catalina Flying Boats, based on Melville Bay in Arnhem Land. Travel was via train to Adelaide, and then north by train to Alice Springs, before travelling north in a convoy of trucks to Birdum where they were again able to board a train to Adelaide River. Here they stayed in an RAAF transit camp before joining No. 42 Squadron RAAF in Melville Bay, after a short stay in Darwin. No. 42 Squadron was later relocated to Darwin where they operated as before, dropping sea mines into waters thought to be used by Japanese shipping in the Indonesia archipelago.

At the time that No. 42 Squadron were relocated to Leyte in the Philippines (7 Jun 1944), Vern was transferred to No. 21 Squadron RAAF, at part of No. 82 Bomber Wing, which flew Consolidated B-24 Liberator aircraft from an airbase at Fenton, south of Darwin. On 12 Jun 1945 Vern was one of a detachment of the squadron shipped to Morotai in the North Celebes aboard the SS Luis Arguello from Darwin, via Port Moresby and Biak, arriving in Morotai and disembarking on 30 Jun 1945. Their role was to support Australian landings in Borneo and Tarakan. Vern moved to Balikpapan with the Squadron on 16 Jul 1945 and then back to Morotai on 24 Oct 1945.

At the completion of the war, the Liberators were used to fly ex-POWs, and surplus personnel, back to Australia. On Morotai on 26 Nov 1945 he was transferred to the No. 3 Reserve Personnel Pool RAAF who then posted him back to the No. 5 Personnel Depot RAAF in Perth where he was discharged on 13 Feb 1946.

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1980 at 33 William street, Armadale, armament assistant.
Dulcie Beatrice Marsh died on 18 Mar 2009, aged 91 in Salter Point. They had two children: Valma May; and Rex Vernon.


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