Bert Wilder Marshall, Jr

Marshall, Jr Bert Wilder
Colonel
Born: November 9, 1918 Royce City, TX

WWII FIGHTER ACE!

Prior to WWII, Bert Marshall was the only 3 time All State Quarterback in Texas High School history and an Honorable Mention All America tailback at Vanderbilt University.

Following graduation with a BA in 1939, Marshall joined Army Reserves and graduated from Kelly Field Texas as Second Lieutenant in April 1941. Stuck in Training Command at Victoria and Bonham, Captain Marshall finally escaped to the ETO in May, 1944. He was snatched from FTU by Kinnard and joined the 354FS/355th FG on June 3, 1944. Prior to combat ops he had acquired nearly 2200 hours, mostly as an instructor.

Captain Marshall shot down a Ju-87 on his second mission June 6, 1944 and downed two Me 109’s plus a probable two weeks later on June 20. He became 354FS CO on July 31 and the 355th’s 10th ace on August 6, 1944 near Hamburg. On August 18th Captain Marshall was shot down by flak while leading the 355th on strafing attacks and rescued by Lt Royce Priest

On September 11, 1944 Major Marshall shot down two more 109’s near Kassel plus damaging another heavily.

On September 18th, Marshall led the 355th FG on the last Shuttle Mission - Frantic VII to drop supplies over Warsaw. In October he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and became Deputy Group Commander to Lt. Colonel Everett Stewart. He completed his60th and last mission of first tour with his fourth belly landing on November 29th.

Following return to the 355th in February 1945, Lt. Col. Marshall led the 354 FS to it’s highest ground score day on April 13, 1945 in which 39 a/c were destroyed, at Husum, with no losses, and ended his tour as 355th FG CO before returning home. He scored 4 destroyed with 4 damaged on that mission.

He returned to the USAF in 1947, flew 20 combat missions in B-26’s while at 5th AF HQ and was promoted to Colonel in 1951. He attended Air War College and Command and Staff before his final duty as Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Defense Command, Missles Division. Bert Marshall resigned from active duty USAF in 1957 to pursue a second career as an executive in the AeroSpace Industry, retiring from LTV as a Vice president in 1978 and passing away in 1979. He retired from the Air Force Reserve as Brigadier General in 1960

Final score 7 destroyed, 1 probable, 1 damaged in the air; 4 destroyed plus 4 damaged on the ground. He shot down 5 in the air in the fewest missions and shortest time in the 355th FG.

Awards: WWII - Polish Cross of Valor, SS, DFC (3), AM (13), Croix de Guerre; Korea BSM (Valor), AM (2)
Aircraft assigned: P-51B-5 43-6457 WR-O Jane, P-51D-10 44-14293 WR-B Jane II, P-51D-10 44-14409 Jane III, P-51D-10 44-14799 WR-B Jane IV, P-51D-15 44-15279 WR-B Jane V, P-51D-20 44-72253 WR-B Jane VI, P-51D-20 44-72953.

Written by Bill Marshall,
author "Angels, Bulldogs and Dragons - History of the 355FG in WWII"

Contributed by Bill Marshall, October, 2006. Unverified.

The text is copyright Bill Marshall 2006. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy or reproduce this biography without the express written consent of Bill Marshall.

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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