39th Bomb Group (VH)

[Search Tip: Use " " for better search results ex. "John Q. Doe"; "City of ..."]
Mrs. Lawrence Toeppe, Sr.'s letters to
Mrs. Phillip Markowitz.

The following two letters were written by Mrs. Mary Toeppe (Mother) to Mrs. Phillip Markowitz (Mother) regarding the status and loss of their sons, S/Sgt Lawrence J. Toeppe, Left Gunner and Sgt Charles Markowitz, Tail Gunner.

S/Sgt Lawrence J. Toeppe, Left Gunner
Sgt Charles Markowitz, Tail Gunner
The letters are courtesy of Joel Markowitz, brother

Millersville Ohio June 29

Dear Mrs. Markowitz,

I have wanted to write to you but just couldn’t put my mind at ease to write. I suppose you have received a telegram by now from the Government. My telegram arrived Wednesday and I had a letter from Mrs. Davenport and she had also got one. Mine read Missing in Action since May 29th. By the way 8 of the crew wrote that 4 were killed. I don’t feel as if we can have any hopes of them living yet. Mrs. Davenport had wrote to me that you hadn’t heard from your boy. No one knows but the ones who have to give up our boys what a Cross it is. I have another Boy with the Marines on Okinawa and we don’t know if he is dead or alive. I’m going to ask you a personal question. Your name sounds as if you are Catholic. Am I right? I am and if you are you’ll understand the thoughts that keep running through my mind, “Was my boy given General Absolution before he went on that raid?” Our pastor told me God always takes those he loves when they are nearest to him, and that a Merciful God will take care of their Souls. If you ever hear how the accident happened, if our boys bodies were found or any other Information please write it to me and I’ll do the same. I hope you will write me soon. Let us Stand at the Foot of Christs Cross with his Blessed Mother and Our Cross will be much lighter to carry.

Mrs. Lawrence Toeppe

To view a copy of Mrs. Toeppe's actual letter (above) in PDF format (325k) click here

You will need a PDF viewer to access this file. If you don't have one Acrobat Reader can be downloaded by from by clicking here
Below is a 2nd letter from Mrs. Lawrence Toeppe to Mrs. Phillip Markowitz

Millersville, Ohio
July 6th

Dear Mrs. Markowitz,

Your letter was received and was surprised you hadn’t no mail from any of the crews families but no doubt your boy never gave your address to any of the crew.

The first letter I got was from the right gunners Mother, Mrs. Davenport. She sent me the home addresses of all the crew and the pilots Mother lives in Kent, Ohio so I called her by phone. I also wrote to the Senior gunner’s wife and received a letter yesterday from her. They all say that the boys that were saved wrote back that 4 were killed so it must be the 4 that don’t write. One of the letters I got says that the pilot wrote that when they were over their target at Yokohama 24 fighter planes attacked them. They dropped their load on the target but were hit right after that and had 2 engines shot out also the bombay door and radio. Another engine caught fire but they managed to keep the plane in the air for 150 or 200 miles and then crashed into the sea. The boys that are living clung to a raft till a sub picked them up a couple days later. They are at Honolulu in a rest camp as their nerves are bad. Why don’t you write to Lt. Grear’s wife as she lives in New York. Her address is Mrs. Edgar Grear

3527 – 81st St. Jackson Heights, N.Y.

The radio operator also comes from N.Y. I believe he was wounded. You could write to Mrs. Schutzman

2055 Prospect Ave. Bronx 57, New York N.Y.

Let me know if you hear from them and what they tell you.
Looking forth to hearing from you soon.

Mrs. Lawrence Toeppe
Millersville Ohio

Mrs Toeppe's 2nd letter was written two-sided on very thin paper. Therefore it bled through to the opposite sides of the pages, making it extremely difficult to read. However if you would like to view the actual letter dated July 6, 1945 (880k) click here.

You will need a PDF viewer to access this file. If you don't have one Acrobat Reader can be downloaded by from by clicking here

62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source: Joel Markowitz, Brother of Sgt Charles Markowitz