Skip to main content
Edit entry 

John Marshall Toomey

Military

Maj John Marshall “Jack” Toomey
BIRTH 19 Feb 1913
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
DEATH 31 Jan 1943 (aged 29)
Messina, Città Metropolitana di Messina, Sicilia, Italy
BURIAL
North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial
Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia

On January 31, 1943, the day he was killed in action, Maj. John Toomey was the command pilot of the B-24D bomber #41-11603, named 'Malicious', assigned to the 9th Air Force, the 376th Bombardment Group, and the 513th Bombardment Squadron. As Major Toomey was piloting his B-24D, 'Malicious', on a combat mission to bomb the Messina Harbor in Sicily, he had two engines shot out of commission by German anti-aircraft flak batteries, but stayed on his bomb run and hit his target. His B-24 was, then, attacked by German fighter planes, and, after a running air battle, the Americans were forced to make a water crash landing into the Tyrrhenian Sea, twenty miles off the coast of Messina, Sicily. Crewmen in other aircraft in the area saw four to six men evacuate the plane into life rafts, but subsequent rescue flights were unable to locate the men. Maj. Toomey and his crew were all listed as Missing In Action, MIA.

Because his body was never recovered, Major John Toomey is memorialized on the Wall of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia

John Toomey was from Austin, Texas. He received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart medals, for his flying skill and bravery in combat. He was just 29 years of age when he gave his life in the cause for freedom.

Service

People

  • Robert Block

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 376th Bomb Group
    Missing in Action on B-24 41-11603 'Malicious' on 31 January 1943, on a mission to Messina. His aircraft was hit by flak and forced to ditch in the sea.

  • Otho Hundley

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Waist Gunner | 376th Bomb Group

  • Otho Hundley

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 376th Bomb Group
    Missing in Action on B-24 41-11603 'Malicious' on 31 January 1943, on a mission to Messina. His aircraft was hit by flak and forced to ditch in the sea.

  • Alfred Montgomery

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 376th Bomb Group
    Missing in Action on B-24 41-11603 'Malicious' on 31 January 1943, on a mission to Messina. His aircraft was hit by flak and forced to ditch in the sea.

  • Joseph O'Meara

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 376th Bomb Group

  • Clifford Street

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 376th Bomb Group
    Missing in Action on B-24 41-11603 'Malicious' on 31 January 1943, on a mission to Messina. His aircraft was hit by flak and forced to ditch in the sea.

  • Joseph Taulbee

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 376th Bomb Group
    Missing in Action on B-24 41-11603 'Malicious' on 31 January 1943, on a mission to Messina. His aircraft was hit by flak and forced to ditch in the sea.

  • Frank Woltman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 376th Bomb Group

Show more

Units served with

  • 9th Air Force
  • 376th Bomb Group

    376th Bomb Group

    Group
    Constituted as 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 Oct 1942 and activated in Palestine on 31 Oct. Began combat immediately, using B-24 aircraft. Operated with Ninth AF from bases in the Middle East, Nov 1942-Sep 1943, and with Twelfth AF from Tunisia...

  • 513th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-11603 'Malicious'

    B-24 Liberator
    One of 23 B-24 Liberators assigned to the Halverson Detachment (HALPRO) which departed the US in May 1942 to join the 10th Air Force in the China, Burma, India Theatre of operations. The HALPRO aircraft were then assigned to the 376th Bomb Group when...

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date
Born San Antonio, TX, USA 19 February 1913
Died Messina, Province of Messina, Italy 31 January 1943

On January 31, 1943, Toomey was pilot of B-24D #41-11603 named 'Malicious', assigned to the 9th Air Force, 376th Bombardment Group, 513th Bombardment Squadron. Malicious was the lead plane on a combat mission to bomb Messina Harbor in Sicily. Two engines were knocked out of commission by anti-aircraft artillery, but they stayed on their bomb run and hit their target. They were then set upon by German fighter planes and after a running battle, were forced to make a water crash landing into the Tyrrhenian Sea, twenty miles off the coast of Messina, Sicily. Crewmen in other aircraft saw four to six men evacuate the plane into life rafts, but subsequent rescue flights were unable to locate the men.

Because his body was never recovered, he's memorialized on the Wall of the Missing.

Toomey was from Austin, TX. He received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

Buried

No Known Grave
Tablets of The Missing
North Africa American Cemetery

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2021 09:15:23 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

FindAGrave - Major John Marshal Toomey

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2021 09:10:07 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

FindAGrave - Major John Marshal Toomey

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2021 09:04:01 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

FindAGrave - Major John Marshal Toomey

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2021 08:38:55 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

FindAGrave - Major John Marshal Toomey ---- B-24 Best Web - 'Malicious'

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2021 07:58:44 Kickapoo Changes to role
Sources

FindAGrave - Maj. John Marshal Toomey

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2021 07:55:50 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

FindAGrave - Maj. John marshal Toomey

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2018 21:47:08 Susan2meFrost Changes to nickname
Sources

I am the daughter (and only child) of Jack Toomey

Date Contributor Update
06 November 2016 23:35:15 466thHistorian Changes to place associations
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Suweir_Air_Base

Date Contributor Update
06 November 2016 22:19:36 466thHistorian Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, events, unit associations, place associations and media associations
Sources

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56250863

Share