His brother, Russell M. Sharples, born 5 November 1919, served in the USAAF, a Second Lieutenant, bombardier, with the 456th Bomb Group, 744th Bomb Squadron, on # 42-51077, the “Emperor Jones” (MACR 6439). The target for the 30 bombers was the Shell Oil Refinery. He died 2 July 1944 at Budapest, Hungary. Sixty enemy fighters (FW-190s and ME-109s) attacked the formation and twenty-six were shot down. The formation lost six bombers and the crews (two disintegrated while aloft). He was a graduate of Warsaw H.S. and Ohio State University (1941). He was buried in the Valley View Cemetery, Warsaw, Ohio.

QUIRKE, WILLIAM FRANCIS, JR., Staff Sergeant, # 31081613, USAAF


William F. Quirke Jr. was born in 1919 in Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, to William F. Quirke (1874-    ) and Mary E. (Welch) Quirke (1875-    ) (married 1 June 1904, Lowell, MA). Siblings included John Francis Quirke (1905-1970), Gertrude E. Quirke (1906-1993), Esther M. Quirke (1907-    ), Mary J. Quirke (1909-2000), Ellen R. Quirke (1914-    ). His father was a plumber in 1920-1930.


He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, on 8 August 1942. He was trained to maintain and shoot a .50 caliber machinegun on the B-29 Superfortress, He was sent overseas to China. On 15 June 1944, B-29 # 42-93826, assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 793rd Bomb Squadron, departed the USAAF airfield at Pengshan, China, on a combat mission and crashed. He was the tail gunner. The crew was killed. The remains were indistinguishable fron one another and thus the Quartermaster Command decided upon a group burial. Those listed included Pilchard, Quirke, Roberts, Sharples, Sturges, Bevan, Escher, Ferracane, Grimes, Mortimer, Myers, and Pfeiffer.There was a group burial of the remains of the crew on 1 February 1950 in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Lincoln Co., Nebraska (Sec. R, Grave 43).