Second Lieutenant Rex A. Rice (O-731419) was the bombardier assigned to Joe’s crew on Wednesday, September 15th 1943.
From the information that I have gathered, I believe that Rex was killed on his 13th combat mission. His first mission was on July 4th 1943, to La Pallice, France. He and Joe flew in B-17 (42-30182) also known as Blondie II– as seen in this poster.
Rex is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at The Cambridge American Cemetery, and his status is still Missing in Action.
His remains have not been recovered.
In October 1943, Joe Noyes washed ashore in Berck-Plage, France. He was initially buried in a small local cemetery, and then reburied at Étaples Military Cemetery.
In early 1944 Mrs. Frances Noyes (Joe’s mother) and Mrs. Mary Philomene Roth (mother of 2LT Frank A. Roth) were in communication with Rex’s mother Mrs. Mozelle Rice, who at that time lived in: Belton, South Carolina.
The census reports say that Rex was the son of Mozelle Rice and Enoch Blair Rice Sr. and he had quite a few siblings: Sadie, Enoch, Bessie, Mozelle, and Martha.
Your help is needed!
I am actively seeking relatives and friends of the Rice family from Belton, South Carolina. I would like to learn more about Rex, so that I can ensure that his story is told when I publish my book on Joe Noyes and his crew.
Please get in touch with me if you feel that you can assist me.
Thanks so much for the help:
Tom Noyes – for his assistance checking on the return address found on the three letters that Mrs. Frances Noyes received from Mrs. Mozelle Rice.
Update as of October 2016!
I was able to make contact with Mrs. Marguerite M. Rice of South Carolina, who was able to send me a beautiful photo of Rex (see below). Thank you all for your support.