ROESCH, RICHARD JOSEPH, Corporal, # 33070452, USAAF

 

Richard J. Roesch was born on 19 May 1916 in Ford City, Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania to Anthony Roesch (1890-1957) and Amelia (Walbert) Roesch (1893-1985). Siblings included Anna Catherine Roesch (1920-2000) and another sister.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940, resided at 914 Western St., Tarentown, Pennsylvania, employed by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., and described himself as 6’, 180 lbs, with brown hair and gray eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF at Camp Lee, Virginia (now Fort Lee, Virginia, Hqs of the Quartermaster Corps) on 19 June 1941. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained as an armorer and gunner. As armorer, he was responsible for the weapons on the B-25 Mitchell and earned his crewman wings. He was trained as a gunner. He was sent overseas to China on about 15 August 1944. On 9 January 1945, a B-25H, # 43-4361, assigned to 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 491st Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Yangkai, China, on a combat mission to Kep, Indochina. It was last sighted at about 1556 Z near 21º 52’ North & 104º 45’ East, as it climbed into overcast in mountainous terrain and was believed to have crashed into mountain. It was last seen by 1stLt Heinz H. Templin, 0-757123, 2ndLt Charles H. Aldrich, 0-700684, and 2ndLt Clifford G. Schillinger, 0-765327. 1stLt Templin reported that he was flying up the Red River Valley with one wing B-25H, 43-4361, when the ceiling lowered. He tried to fly under the overcast but due to rain ahead and low visibility, climbed on course. He was unable to contact 43-4361 by radio so he gestured to him to climb. At the above-stated time and coordinates, he climbed and lost sight of 43-4361. They came out of the overcast at 5,000’ and could not contact 43-4361. On 19 May 1945, very reliable information was received that the French found, in the area of Dong Cuong and Maha (21º 55’ North & 104º 40’ East – Yen Bai, Annam (Vietnam), the crashed B-25H, and the remains of the crewmen, who were buried on a hillside near the wreckage by the French, with pieces of fuselage as a marker. Major Bamman of the 69th Air Base Wing has notes on the information. The French military mission in China sent a message confirming the find. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on 4 March 1948 (Sec. 3, Grave 348).