– Birthplace: Brookline, Pennsylvania, USA
– ASN: 33689392
– Birthdate: 24 octobre 1924
– Position in plane: Right waist gunner
– Rank: S/ Sgt
– KIA: 25th december 1944
– Burial: Memorial Park Pleasant Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
– Medals: Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
We are not sure what happend to Owen Fox, minutes before the crash. Based on the facts, we think he was blown out of the plane during the explosion. This probably happend after Robert Ball and Peter Ferdinand left the plane.
Owen Fox fell to death in the woods of “La Georgette“, outside of the town of La Fosse.
Shortly after that, his body was found by a civilian, who took away his pistol and who did not report him.
Gerard Croize/DAC 6618, investigator is looking for him after the war, because Owen is still reported as MIA.
He reported on 17 august 1949 to his superiors: “Acting on information received by Letter Hqs, dtd 2 june 1949, and Missing Air Crew Report with other documents attached, this team proceeded to the area of Sevenig (Germany) for the prupose of locating the B-24 aircraft that crashed at coordinates 5008N-0610E with a crew of nine of which two managed to parachute while the others met death. Six crewmembers were previously disinterred from La Fosse, Belgium and Mötsch, Germany while the seventh, S/Sgt Owen U Fox, 33689392, is still in an unaccounted-for status.”
The team searched for Sevenich, but could not find a town with that name. They tried Mötsch, although it was far away from the target. The team contacted the priest and asked about the burial of American diseased. The priest did know, five were buried in the cemetery of Mötsch in the first days of january 1945, but he was not able to furnish any particulars; all were disinterred and removed shortly after the end of the war. In an attempt to find out who these five were, they contacted the Red Cross representative at Bitburg, which lies next to the hamlet of Mötsch. Without any result.
We learned, thanks to the IDPF’s that Myra Miller got from the NARA, one of them was crewmember Leon Liscomb.
We have a testimony from herr Schneider, the priest from Mötsch, who stated on 9 august 1949, that he, in the first days of January 1945, together with 21 German soldiers, also buried 5 American soldiers. He was not aware of their names. The 5 soldiers were desinterred by an American desinterring team, shortly after the war.
Further investigation was useless. So, the team proceeded to Heckhalenfeld. The town official, herr Jacobs, remembered a crash, at the end of december, but did not remember the exact date. Nor did he remember if any crewmembers were interred in the town. The plane itself was being removed, and only smaller pieces were left. The team went to Trier, to find out wich salvage company took it away. Luckely, the parts were found at the salvage yard but, inspite of checking all the machineguns present, no corresponding one could be discovered.
Gerard Croize went back to the crashsite and discovered 3 machine guns. Not one of the numbers on it corresponded with the plane they were looking for. The team searched in every direction around the area. Without result. The town official of Dahnen, Johan Breuer, stated that an aircraft crashed, but it was not a four engine bomber.
Albert Munkler, mayor of Sevenich stated the same: No four engine airplane crashed in or near his town. Statements of Daleiden said the same.
Gerard Croize started to believe their plane had crashed in Belgium and therefor asked permission to cross the border. The search was resultless: All crashed planes had allready been removed. One Belgian Customs Officer, Conard Omer, had seen the wreckage about one mile from St. Vith. But that was removed too. The secretary of the Burg Reuland (German/Belgian border) community stated that he did not see a big US plane crash.
In his findings, Gerard concluded that the man who determined the point of the crash and expressing it in coordinates, made a mistake. He said: “Either the crash site is located on Belgian territory (which is almost impossible to prove at thsi time) or on Luxembourg territory (this could be subject to a new investigation.)”
And that is what he recommended to his superiors.
On the 6th of august 1951(!), a letter was sent to Doris Beck, Owen Fox’ sister. They stated that they found Owen.
In 1950, farmer Jules Evrard decided to turn one of his small woods into farmland. He started to cut the trees and bushes. To his horrible surprise he found an airman. He directly informed the mayor and handed him the dogtags and some coins he found with the body. The mayor of Grandmenil at that time, Mr Mefienum, stated that the airman probably “could be associated with an aircraft crash on La Fosse territory.” The airplane could not be found anymore, because it was taken away by a Belgian salvage service.” Jules Evrard buried the body and placed a wooden marker. He had to wait until 1951: It was then that the Graves Registration Service showed up.
After Jules Evrard showed the body, Owen Fox was taken to the AGRS Mausoleum in Liege.
The cause of death of Owen Fox, was, according to the report of investigation, was parachute failure.
According to the papers his body was mangled.
The following items were listed: Remnants of electrically heated flying suit; remnants of parachute; remnants of green officer jacket; remnants of green officer shirt; remnants of oxygen mask; one pair of ear phones; remnants of wallet (with name: “Joseph Kennedy”); remnants of leather wallet (with inscription Hunter Saw & Machine Co. , Pittsburgh PA); remnants of map case; remnants of flying boot; remnants of suspenders, civillian type; one house key, British made; two one shilling coins; one farthing coin; one twenty five cents coin- US; one five cents coin- US.
The identification of Fox was done by Arthur R. Lawrence (Tuskegee university, lab identification technician) and Frans Vandervael (M.D., Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology, Liege University).
The remains (given the code “X-9012”; BK) were examined by an “accredited anthropologist”, utulizing advanced scientific and technical procedures to obtain the best information possible concerning the physical characteristics of the remains.
And, “…together with the recovery of his identification tags and the information obtained as a result of the exhaustive investigation, conducted in ths case.” Owen was identified. (This was written on the “correspondence action sheet, but did not return in the actual letter to miss Beck)
So, almost six years later, Owen Fox finally was found.
According to the report a lot of bodyparts were missing or already gone. The report stated that bones were burned and teeth were missing.
“The badly shattered and partially burned condition of these remains indicates a plane crash or some type of explosion.”