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Name: Roderick Morgan MacDougall Rank: Sergeant (Armorer / Gunner) Service Number: 31031000 Service: 486th Bombardment Squadron, 340th Bomber Group, US Army Air Force Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart Date of Birth: August 2, 1919 Place of Birth: Lake Ainslie, Inverness Co., NS Date of Enlistment: March 18, 1941 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Mass. Address at Enlistment: Salem, Essex Co., Mass. Age at Enlistment: 21 Height: 5 feet, 8 inches Complexion: Light Hair: Brown Eye color: Gray Occupation: Sales clerk Marital Status: Single Date of Death: November 17, 1943 Age: 24 Cemetery: Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial, Lazio, Italy Grave: Plot C, Row 6, Grave 34 Roderick Morgan MacDougall was the son of Hector Angus MacDougall (1883-1930) and Miriam Minnie (Morgan) MacDougall (1891-1966). His father was born in East Lake Ainslie, Inverness Co., in Cape Breton, NS; his mother – in Cheyenne, Laramie Co., Wyoming. Roderick had three sisters, Margaret Jean (MacDougall) Peachey (1909-1996), Alexis Kennedy (MacDougall) Willey (1911-2003), and Genevieve (MacDougall) Titus (1913-1992) – and one brother Murdo Castle MacDougall (1922–1982). The family moved to Massachusetts in October of 1922, travelling from Yarmouth, NS, to Boston, on the SS Yarmouth and settling in Topsfield in Essex County, Mass. Roderick’s father died in 1930, and before the war, Roderick’s mother had returned to Canada and was living in Halifax, NS. Both Roderick and his brother Murdo were living at their sister Alexis’ home with her husband Leonard Willey at 76 Endicott Street in Salem, Essex Co. Massachusetts, Roderick worked at Don’s Tire Company at 34 New Derby Street in Salem, and his brother was working for a leather firm in Boston. Roderick enlisted in March of 1941 in Boston, and married Jean Elizabeth (Leach) MacDougall (1919-2009) in Topsfield in 1942. Roderick’s brother Murdo also enlisted in the USAAF on October 28, 1942, trained in Courtland, Alabama, survived the war, and was discharged December 31, 1945. Roderick was assigned to the 486th Bombardment Squadron and trained in Raleigh, in Wayne Co., North Carolina. The 486th was assigned to the European Theatre and from August 27 to October 14, 1943, Roderick and the 486th Bomb Squadron were based at Catania in Sicily. October 18, and until November 19, 1943, the Squadron was stationed at San Pancrazio, in Italy. “Except for the fact that it was a bit blacker than in Catania, we simply exchanged one mud for another by our move although some people contended that San Pan mud had better sliding qualities. San Pan came to be famous for its fine plumbing, hot showers, inexhaustible lumber pile, yellow jaundice and MUD. The really good point scored was the fact that for the first time we were out of tents and into buildings. It was true that some had no roofs, some no floors, others no walls but we patched and plugged. The weather was definitely on the coolish side and cans of every kind were converted to use as stoves and stove-pipes and some weird designs there were. We ganged-up [joined with] with the 321st [Bomber] Group for raids on [enemy positions] at Sofia and Kalamaki [Greece] and struck a hot one on the second raid to the latter place. The ---th claimed 3 ME-190s and the 486th claimed another. One 486th ship did not come back. The mission had bucked strong winds and everybody being low or out of gas and with some mechanical damage, the landing on the return developed into a rat race.” (An account of the 486th time at San Pancrazio, from Sergeant Roderick was serving on the six-crew B25-C bomber 42-64540 that didn’t come back. The War Diary of the 486th Bomb Group prepared by Lt. Thomas B. Meyer, November 17th, records their loss: “Nine planes took part in another raid on aerodrome at Athens, Greece. Intense ack-ack and fighter opposition encountered and one of our planes is presumed lost. The crew of the plane, was seen in a dive in the vicinity of the target. The pilot, Second Lieutenant John D. O'Leary (Service No. O-798022), and co-pilot Second Lieutenant John E. Smith (Service No. 742791) survived the crash. Smith was injured, became a POW and was sent to a German prisoner hospital. O'Leary evaded and escaped with the help of the Greek people. Roderick and the other 3 crew were killed: Second Lieutenant Daniel Robert Duszkiewicz (Bombardier/ Navigator) Service No. O-669020 Born April 28, 1920 in Toledo, Lucas Co., Ohio, USA (24 years old) Enlisted March 12, 1942 in Buffalo, NY Memorialized at St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Cemetery, Cheektowaga, Erie Co., New York Purple Heart Staff Sergeant Frank Edwin Williams (Tail Gunner) Service No. 33264947 Born in February 23, 1912 in Perrysville Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania, USA (30 years old) Enlisted in April 8, 1942 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania Interred at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery (Plot A Row 1 Grave 28) Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart Staff Sergeant John P. Sweeney (Radio Operator / Gunner) Service No. 32396880 Born in Newark, Bergen Co., NY (24 years old) Enlisted in December 7, 1942 in Newark, New Jersey Interred at the Long Island National Suffolk Co., NY (Section J, Site 14760) Purple Heart Roderick was initially interred at the Koropi town cemetery, then the Nettuno cemetery in Italy (designated as temporary cemetery 5260 by the US Army Grave Registration Service) in Plot 2Y, Row 87, Grave 7081, and with grave consolidation was re-interred in Plot C, Row 6, Grave 34, at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, in Italy. The Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Italy covers 77 acres, rising in a gentle slope from a broad pool with an island and cenotaph flanked by groups of Italian cypress trees. Beyond the pool is the immense field of headstones of 7,845 of American military war dead, arranged in gentle arcs on broad green lawns beneath rows of Roman pines. The majority of these individuals died in the liberation of Sicily (July 10 to August 17, 1943); in the landings in the Salerno Area (September 9, 1943) and the heavy fighting northward; in the landings at Anzio Beach and expansion of the beachhead (January 22, 1944 to May 1944); and in air and naval support in the regions. Sergeant Roderick Morgan MacDougall is one of these Air Force casualties lost flying air support in the Mediterranean Theatre. Roderick is also remembered on a memorial stone at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Topsfield, Essex Co., Mass. Staff Sergeant Roderick M. MacDougall's widow, Jean Elizabeth Leach MacDougall was retired as a Postmaster of the US Post Service in Topsfield, MA. She died November 9, 2009 at the age of 90; she never remarried. Her obituary appeared in the Boston Herald on Veterans Day, November 11, 2009.
Roderick Morgan MacDougall
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