MARRS, EMMETT STILLMAN, Staff Sergeant, # 20828866, USAAF
Emmett S. Marrs was born on 3 June 1920 in Texas to Samuel Rex Marrs (1899-1977) (Moody, TX) and Berniece (McElroy) Marrs (1901-1999). Siblings included Samuel Rex Marrs Jr. (1921-1990), Donald Ensey Marrs (1924-2005), Betty Jo (Marrs) Caddell (1926-1997), June Louise Marrs (1928- ), Max Eugene “Gene” Marrs (1934- ), and William “Billy” Bob Marrs (1937- ). Living with them in 1940 was a paternal aunt, Garnett W. Marrs (1915- ), a teacher. He graduated from Norman High School in 1940.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army, Infantry, in Norman, Oklahoma, on 16 September 1940. Subsequently transferred to the USAAF on active duty, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the C-47 Skytrain. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 5 December 1944, C-47A, # 43-15698, departed the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a mission to Kunming, China. Burma Road combat engineers walked to the jungle area where the C-47A, # 43-15698, 10th Air Force, crashed. On 14 December 1944, the Li Su tribesmen informed Burma Road Engineers they had found a crashed aircraft. The engineers were guided to the wreckage, at which they arrived at 1130 hours, 17 December 1944. It was atop a ridge at the Burma-China border, about 20 miles west of Tantza-pa and 30 miles north of Tahow Wang, Yunnan, China. The C-47A was completely demolished, parts strewn up the ridge for about 600’ from impact. The bodies of 23 Chinese Army soldiers were found in the wreckage. Removal of the decomposed American remains was impracticable due to their condition and the mountainous terrain. The dead crewmen had been ripped of all personal belongings -wrist watches, wallets, money belts, and identification (dog tags). The crash investigator located 1stLt Clegg’s briefcase with insurance papers, a 201 file, a carbon copy of 2ndLt Bolton’s will, and a few letters from TSgt Windishman’s family. The crewmens’ status was changed from missing to killed in action on 29 December 1944. After recovery of the crew’s remains, burial was in a common grave (two caskets with four remains) in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 19 November 1947 (Sec. 80, Grave 4).