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Keokuk News
Keokuk, Iowa
April 6, 1950

OBITUARY - CAPT. PAUL MAX McPHERSON

Capt. Paul MCPHERSON, son of Mrs. Corda MCPHERSON of Sigourney, was killed in a plane crash in Arizona on March 23. A memorial service was held at Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday, March 28 and the final services were held at the First Baptist church in Mt. Ayr on Friday, March 31, conducted by the Rev. W. W. STEINMETZ, pastor of the local Methodist church, assisted by the Rev. U. E. BURROUGHS, pastor of the Mt. Ayr Baptist church. Burial was at the Mt. Ayr [Rose Hill] cemetery, with Masonic and military rites at the grave.

Paul M. MCPHERSON, son of Marshall and Corda ROBERTS MCPHERSON, was born in Ringgold county on October 20, 1920. He was graduated from the Delphos high school in 1938 and took commerce training at the American Institute of Business in Des Moines in 1940. After completing his training he accepted a position in Des Moines, which he held until 1942, when he volunteered for service with the U. S. Army Air Corps, and received his initial training at Santa Ana, King City and Maher Field. Soon afterwards, he was graduated from Ellington Field, receiving his navigation wings and second lieutenant's bar.

In March, 1944 he was called for overseas duty and took part in the Normandy invasion on D-day serving with the 304th Squadron and the 442nd Troop Carrier Group. He saw active service in the invasion of southern France and received the Presidential citation for heroism in battle. In a mission over Holland he was wounded by anti-aircraft fire but remained at his post of duty until the mission was completed. His overseas service covered a period of 20 months.

Returning to the United States, he was stationed at Ellington Field and Randolph Field. At Randolph he received his regular Air Force commission in October, 1947 and was sent to the Lackland Air Force base in Texas.

On May 9, 1948 he was married to Frances Natalie IRVIN of Houston, Texas and they went to Mather Field, California, where he was graduated from Radar Observer's school in January, 1949. After graduation he was sent to Davis Monthan Field in Strategic Air Command, where he served in the 65th Squadron, 43rd Bomb Group.

In March, 1949, Capt. MCPHERSON assisted in the refueling operations for the history making round-the-world flight of the ship, "Lucky Lady" and was stationed at Saudi, Arabia for this mission.

Capt. MCPHERSON received many citations for his services, including the Purple Heart, the Air Medal with several oak leaf clusters, the Presidential citation and the Victory Medal. He also received a letter of commendation for his outstanding performance of duty while in England last fall.

He is survived by his wife; his mother; three brothers, Jess and Sam of Hedrick and Hagen Farrell of Moneta, Virginia and five sisters, Mrs. Lola GLENDENNING of Mt. Ayr, Mrs. Lena ABARR of Hedrick, Mrs. Ella FRY of Sigourney, Mrs. Grace VANDIVIER of Elberon and his twin sister, Mrs. Pauline FISHBURN of Washington. Preceding him in death were his father and one brother, Lloyd.

Capt. MCPHERSON was a member of Auburn lodge number 592, A.F. and A.M. and Elks lodge number 98, both of Des Moines. He was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1936 in the Baptist church at Mt. Ayr, where he held membership at the time of his death.

Submission by Mary F., February of 2011

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