Maxwell Wellman Marsh

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Maxwell Wellman Marsh
Marsh Maxwell Wellman.jpg
Marsh Maxwell Wellman 3.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 31 Oct 1911
Place of Birth Armadale, Western Australia
Death 7 Jul 1944
Place of Death Austria
Age at Enlistment 30 years, 3 months
Description 6'0½ (1.84m) tall ; 152lbs
68.946 kg
; medium complexion ; brown eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Farmer
Religion Church of England
Address 'Marshlands', Pingelly, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Wellman Marsh
Military Information
Reg Number 41581
Date of Enlistment 1 Feb 1942
Rank Warrant Officer
Unit/Formation No. 40 Squadron RAF
Post War Details
Fate KIA aerial battle
Monument(s) WA State War Memorial
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals 1939-45 Star
Aircrew Europe Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Max attended the Taylor's Well State School in 1924 and 1925 before transferring to Narrogin School of Agriculture from 1926 to 1928, and then to Muresk Agricultural College from 1928 to 1930. Max had served from 1930 - 1933 with the Army's 10th Light Horse Rergiment. Electoral Roll entries: 1936 at Dattening, Pingelly, farmer; 1937 Hillsprings Station, Carnarvon, jackeroo ; 1943 at Marshlands, West Pingelly, farmer.

War Service

Max enlisted at No. 4 RAAF Recruiting Centre in Perth on 1 Feb 1942, mustered as Air Crew TG V. He was posted the same day to No. 5 Initial Training School RAAF at Clontarf to begin his training. Max was promoted Leading Aircraftman on 20 Jun 1942 and at the same time re-mustered as Aircrew (Observer) TG II. His next move was on 22 Jul 1942 when he was transferred to No. 2 Air Observers School RAAF at Mt Gambia in South Australia. On 17 Oct 1942 his posting changed to No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School RAAF at Port Pirie to undertake the No. 27 Air Observer's Course from 19 Oct to 10 Dec 1942. His final training school in Australia was No. 2 Air Navigation School RAAF at Nhill in Victoria on 13 Dec 1942 where he participated in an Astro Navigation course from 14 Dec 1942 until 7 Jan 1943. On completion of the course he was promoted Temporary Sergeant and re-mustered as Air Observer TG I.

On 24 Jan 1943 he was on strength with the No. 5 Embarkation Depot RAAF, remaining with them for a month before moving on 5 Feb 1943 to No. 1 Embarkation Depot RAAF at Ransford in Victoria. On 6 Mar 1943 Max embarked in Melbourne for the U.K., disembarking there on 4 Jun 1943, having been seconded to the RAF. His journey wpould have included a ship voyage from Melbourne To an west coast port in the US, followed by a rail journey to the east coast, and then after a time, again by ship to the UK. During that time, on 4 Apr 1943, Max was admitted to hospital with Acute Sinusitis, before being released to Camp Myles Standish, in Taunton, Massachusetts. This camp acted as a gathering point for all troops, including some RAAF personnel moving from the US to the UK via Boston.

On arrival in the UK on 4 Jun 1943 Max was initially sent to No. 11 Personnel Despatch & Receiving Centre RAAF in Brighton on 5 Jun 1943. Max was promoted Temporary Flight Sergeant on 7 Jul 1943 and posted to No. 9 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit RAF before moving on 3 Aug 1943 to No. 21 Operational Training Unit RAF at RAF Moreton-In-Marsh for training of night bomber crew using the Vickers Wellington. While with 21 OTU, between mid October 1943 and late February 1944, Max was detached to a range of training units to finalise his training for Navigating a Wellington bomber over Europe. On 7 Mar 1944 Max was allocated to the Mediterranean Allied Air Force and on 8 Mar 1944 he was posted to the No. 1 Base Personnel Depot RAF who arranged his transport to North Africa. He flew to North Africa and joined No. 40 Squadron RAF at Foggia on Italy's east coast on 10 Mar 1944. His records don't tell us how many sorties he and his crew flew befor the fateful mission on 6 - 7 Jul 1944.

Wellington LP-195 took off at 9:52pm on 6 Jul 1944 from Foggia Main landing ground, Italy, detailed to attack Feuersbrunn drome near Vienna. The formation of Squadron aircraft encountered German fighters and three of the aircraft, including the one Max was the Air Bomber on (LP195) were shot down in close proximity to St Polten, approx. 57 kilometers west of Vienna. All the crews in the three Squadron aircraft were killed. Max's fellow airmen in LP 195 were: Crew:

  • RAAF 418811 PO R.T. Collins, - Pilot
  • RAAF 418923 Flt Sgt R C Dalton, - Navigator
  • RAF Sgt D W Nicholls, - Wireless Operator Air
  • RAAF 415811 WO M W Marsh, - Air Bomber
  • RAF Sgt V Charles, - Air Gunner

The crews of the three aircraft including LP195 are buried in the Klagenfurt War Cemetery, Austria. Klagenfurt is the capital of the Austrian Province of Carpinthia.[1]

  • Klagenfurt War Cemetery, southern Austria
  • Maxwell's grave location

Max's records indicate thet he was promoted Temporary Warrant Officer on 7 Jul 1944.


In November 1940 No. 40 Squadron RAF converted to the Vickers Wellington IC, and spent the next year operating as a night bomber squadron with Bomber Command. In October 1941 the squadron's aircraft were flown to Malta, where they operated against targets in Italy and North Africa until May 1942 when the squadron was re-equipped with Vickers Wellington Mk III's. By the time Max joined the Squadron they were flying the Vickers Wellington X model from Foggia Main airfield in Italy against targets in northern Italy and the Balkans. They were still operating out of Foggia when Max failed to return.

  1. RAAF World War 2 Fatalities: v. 2 - RAAF WW2 fatalities RAF squadrons 1 to 50 volume 2 - compilation by Alan Storr

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