Vernon Wallace Marsh
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||26 Aug 1916|
|Place of Birth||Kelmscott, Western Australia|
|Death||16 Mar 2010, aged 93|
|Age at Enlistment||24 years, 1 month|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs Dulcie Marsh|
|Reg Number||W1022 & 38897|
|Date of Enlistment||10 Oct 1940|
|Rank||Trooper & Leading Aircraftsman|
|Unit/Formation||10th Light Horse Regiment & No. 42 Squadron RAAF|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||1944 ‒ 1944|
|Transport Details||SS Luis Arguello Darwin to Morotai|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Returned to Australia|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
|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|
|Burial Date||16 March 2010|
Vern was discharged from the Militia on 24 Mar 1941 in order to join the RAAF, which was completed on 5 Jun 1941. His militia service had been with the 10th Light Horse Regiment based in Bunbury.
His initial RAAF posting was to Pearce where 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. Next step was North Terrace in Adelaide (4STT) where he undertook a three months course to qualify as a Basic Fitter (108 Squad). On completion he was posted to Melbourne 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 if 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 to Mallala in South Australia, a pilot training school where aircrew were responsible to maintain the aircraft Avro Ansons. Three months later he was posted to 1 Aircraft Depot at Sale in Victoria where he worked on Fairey Battles, 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 travelled to Victoria and they were married in a church in Swanston street, Melbourne.
Prior to being posted into a war zone Vern undertook a two week toughening up course in the ranges outside Melbourne. In Jun 1944 Vern was posted to 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 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 42nd Squadron were relocated to Leyte in the Philippines (November 1944), Vern was reposted to No. 21 Squadron RAAF, part of 82 Bomber Wing, which flew Consolidated B-24 Liberator aircraft from an airbase at Fenton, south of Darwin.
Several weeks later a detachment of the squadron was shipped to Morotai in the North Celebes aboard the SS Luis Arguello from Darwin. Their role was to support Australian landings in Borneo and Tarakan. At the completion of the war, the Liberators were used to fly ex-POWs, and surplus personnel, back to Australia. Eventually Vern was sent back to Australia for discharge from the RAAF which occurred on 13 Feb 1946.