Marion G. Collier, born in 1919, enlisted in the US Army on March 18, 1942 at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

Staff Sergeant Collier was assigned to a crew aboard a B25J Mitchell with the 498th Bomber Squadron, 345th Bomber Group. Staff Sergeant Collier was killed April 6, 1945, and his body was never recovered.

Aircraft B-25J-22 with serial number 44-29265 departed from San Marcelino Strip on a Combat-Shipping mission to Swatow – China Coast.

Statement of Lt. Rogert G. Neal, Pilot on ship No. 115, who was credited as the person who saw Capt Johnson make a crash landing in China Sea:

Target – Shipping -Swatow, China Coast
Date – 6 April, 1945

Our ship was on Capt. Johnsons right wing as we began our attack on a probable CL. We started the pass at about 2,000 yards out at 1500 feet, but were at 200 feet when 500 yards out. Capt. Johnsons  plane made a straight in approach with no evasion whatsoever. His nose guns failed to fire and we were in such a position that we were unable to cover him with ours. Intense light fire (20mm – .50 cal) was coming from the ship. Capt. Johnson’s airplane was hit either just before passing over the ship or right over the ship. We noticed fire shooting from the left nacelle and bomb bay. Capt. Johnson proceeded to climb to about 1000 feet, his ship still burning badly. He flew at about 1000 feet for about 15 seconds, then he proceeded to make a water landing. It appeared that he had control of the airplane at all times. He made a perfect crash landing in a very rough sea. The plane continued to burn until it sank, about 8 seconds later.

Crew members
Pilot, Capt. Albin V. Johnson
Co-Pilot, F/O Kenneth L. Bridges
Navigator, 1st Lt Robert T. Snyder
Engineer, T/Sgt James D. Robinson
Radio Operator, T/Sgt Wilbert R. Yorke
Gunner, S/Sgt Marion G. Collier
Photographer, S/Sgt Frederick A. Gladych

More Images

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.

Submit more information on this veteran →