COUCH, JOHN RALPH, First Lieutenant, # 0-810114, USAAF
John R. Couch was born on 27 January 1921 in Falcon, Laclede, Missouri to Virgil Andrew Couch (1894-1984) and/or Laura A. Nelson (1868-1938) (married 26 January 1902, Laclede Co., MO) and Vera I. (Henderson) Couch (1897- ) (married 27 November 1916, Lebanon, Laclede Co., MO). Siblings included Ruth E. (Couch) Grossman (1919-2014) and Theodore “Ted” Couch (1922-2000)
He registered for the WWII draft on 16 February 1942, resided in Bosworth, Carroll Co., MO, and described himself as 6’, 175 lbs, with brown hair and gray eyes. He noted a mole under his right jaw. He enlisted in the USAAF in Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, on 19 March 1942. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools, was multi-engine rated, and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 6 October 1944 a B-25J, # 43-3964, assigned to 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group, 83rd Bomb Squadron, Fenny, India, departed its airfield on a combat mission to the bridge at Nyaungyan, Burma. The B-25 was seen to crash after being attacked by enemy fighters. Sgt Charles E. Quiggle, 37270775, saw it crash. He reported that it was a twelve-ship formation and they were attacked by enemy fighters head on. After hearing the warning, “Japs.” The bombers salvoed their bombs and turned to return to base. He watched the B-25 lose altitude rapidly, right engine on fire, and it crashed near Dayegaung, Burma. There was a large explosion and a parachute billowed from the crash. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Wharton Cemetery, Bosworth, Carroll Co., Missouri. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.