|C-46 pilot Lt. Murray Jacobs and his brother John were both killed in World War 2.|
Murray Kimball Jacobs, Jr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 7, 1917 in Utah. His parents were also both born in Utah. His father was farmer and died when Murray junior was 12 years old. After his death, his widow continued to run the family farm. Murray had three older sisters and three younger brothers. All four of the Jacobs brothers were in the army during the war. Prior to the war Murray had served as a missionary for the LDS Church. He completed two years of college at Weber College and Utah State Agricultural College. He worked as a clerk for the Southern Pacific Railroad.
He enlisted in the army on February 24, 1941. At some point he transferred to the Army Air Corp and successfully completed pilot training. He became a first lieutenant in the 4th Ferrying Group, India-China Wing, flying Curtis C-46A Commando transport planes. He was stationed in India.
The C-46A was selected for this theater because it could carry three times the weight as the better known C-47, plus it had the engine power to climb over the Himalaya Mountains. The plane had it's problems. It was referred to as the "flying coffin" by the airmen who flew them. It had the disturbing problem of catching on fire or exploding in mid-flight. Many C-46 planes took off and were never seen again.
On May 27, 1944 Lt. Jacobs flew the plane nicknamed "Line of Duty" on his final mission. It took off from Chittagong in what is now Bangladesh on a planned 200 milne flight to Imphal, India. There was a crew of three along with four passengers. The plane never arrived. He was reported missing in action. His status was changed to killed in action in August.
Lt. Jacob's youngest brother John was serving as a private in the 42nd Infantry Division in Europe at the time. He was killed in action near Strasbourg, France on January 6, 1945 and is buried in Lorraine, France.
There is a memorial for Lt. Jacobs at Memory Grove Memorial in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Also born on June 7, 1917 was the entertainment megastar Dean Martin. Martin was already starting his singing career in the early 1940's. He was drafted into the army in 1944. He was in the service stateside for a year before he was discharged due to a double hernia. His career really took off after the war when he teamed up with comic Jerry Lewis. He went on to become one of the most popular singers of his era, a major film star on his own, and the host of a top rated TV show. Martin died in 1995.
|Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin in their 1950's comedy "At War with the Army"|
We will never know how many of the fallen may have joined Dino as major 20th century entertainers.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY
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