170386 106 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
John Marshall was born in 1920, the son of John Samuel and Alice Maud Marshall of St. Andrew’s Street North, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. John was educated at King Edward VI School in Bury St. Edmunds. On leaving school he spent a year as a civilian clerk with the Metropolitan Police. When he was 19 years old he joined West Suffolk Police, following his training in Bury St. Edmunds he was transferred to Divisional Headquarters in Boxford and then later to Sudbury. He was serving in Sudbury when he volunteered for flying duties with the Royal Air Force. He was released from his police duties in May 1943. His brother also served in the Royal Air Force as a Pilot Officer.
John flew many missions, but on the night of 19-20th September his crew were sent to attack Rheydt, an important target near Munchen Gladbach in Germany. The mission was successful but his aircraft failed to return. At first he was posted as ‘missing believed killed’ until information came through the Red Cross that he and 2 other members of the crew had been killed and 3 crew members had been taken prisoners.
John was a popular member of the Police Force and the Chief Constable paid this tribute: ‘This most promising young police officer volunteered for flying duties with the Royal Air Force, in which service his obvious ability soon earned for him commissioned rank. He will be greatly missed by all his colleagues, and I know how distressed they will be at his loss’.
John died aged 23 on 19th September 1944 and lies buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany. After the war the graves of many airmen who had died earlier during the conflict and who were buried in isolated sites in the surrounding area were brought to Reichswald Forest Cemetery for reburial.
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