FRED TROESCHER, JR., LTJG, USN
Fred Troescher, Jr. '49
Date of birth: May 16, 1927
Date of death: December 16, 1953
From the 1949 Lucky Bag:
Fred was lost in Typhoon Doris on December 16, 1953 when his PB-4Y crashed during low-level typhoon penetration. He was a part of Weather Squadron One (VJ-1).
My squadron, Weather Squadron One (VJ-1) was the outfit that lost the crew on that flight.
Ltjg. Fred Troescher traded Duty Officer with me, as I was supposed to go out on that fatal flight. However, Fred called me the night before and asked if he could take the flight since the Air Force had been covering all the Typhoons for the past week or so.
Our squadron and the weather outfit from Anderson AFB had had some mix up in the flight and we damned near had a midair collision. Sooo, the AF decided it was best if only one outfit did the reconnaissance on the typhoon. Only that night the AF had trouble getting an airplane up for the flight and asked the navy to cover the typhoon.
When I reported for duty, I discovered that Crew One had left for the day's recco flight, covering that typhoon. If my memory serves me correctly, when we penetrated a typhoon we were to establish radio contact with base every 30 minutes. I think the Radioman working the Duty Radio that day was John Walpole. He was our radioman in our crew, Crew 2.
Lcdr Perc Kedigh was our Plane Commander, Scotty Jenkins was the copilot, and I the 2nd pilot and navigator. Wes Mellange was Plane Captain, I do not remember the rest of the crew, but I am sure some of the fellows in VJ-1 will be able to fill in the blanks.
Back to the flight: After John had not received any transmission from Crew One after the 30 minute time lapse, he notified me since I was Sqd Duty Officer. I reported the situation, no flight message for more then 30 minutes, to Perc. In turn we notified ComFairGuam, I think that's who we called, it's been 52 years and all the facts are not coming to the frontal lobe. I believe a meeting was held and the plan to start the search was put into play.
Anyway, the very next morning all the planes in our outfit were sent out to search the suspected, downed PB4Y-2. After, eight or nine days of 12-14 hour long flights searching for the missing aircraft, the search was called off. John J. Witten, August 2005
Other officers and crew of the aircraft:
Newhall, J. W. Cmdr (pilot) age 39
Marsden, S. B. Lt (co-pilot) age 29
Zimmerman, D. Jr. Lt. Cmdr. age 35
Troescher, F. Jr. Ltjg. age 26
Barnett, F. R. AL1 age 26
Clark, J. N. AD1 Age 32
Myer, E. L. AD3 age 20
Stephens, N. J. AL2 age 23
Stott, A. J. Jr. AO3 age 23
From the obituary of his wife, Carolin:
… In 1950, she married Fred Troescher, Jr., a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. They had two sons, Scott and David, before Fred was killed on a naval air mission. … Fresno Bee on Sept. 20, 2015
He never met his younger son, David; he was born on December 23, 1953. (Information from April 1954 issue of SHIPMATE.)