William Marsh was the grandson of Ignacy Mierzejewski, the son of John Mierzejewski. William was born William S. Mierzejewski in Toledo on January 21, 1922 to John Mierzejewski and Anna Myzlinski and baptized in St. Anthony’s parish on January 28, 1922. Baptized Boleslaw, it seemed his family provided him with the Anglecized name of William.
Per the 1930 census, the family was residing at 1021 Hamilton and William was 8 years old.
William entered the military and volunteered for the Office of Strategic Service, a predecessor to the modern CIA. While in the OSS , he was assigned to operations in Yugoslavia. Thanks to his son, Bill, there are photos of him while in the service.
An undated article was found that mentioned William’s service in the OSS. The date of the UP wire service is noted as 10/1, but the year is unknown. It is likely that this clipping came from the Toledo Blade and the date that the article was published was likely after World War 2. The article is transcribed below:
3 FROM TOLEDO ON HERO LIST
Soldiers Hit Behind Lines of Enemies
Washington, Oct. 1 (UP)—Super-commandos of the Office of Strategic services did heroic work behind the enemy lines in France, Italy, Norway, Greece, Yugoslavia and China.
OSS revealed here today the names of the 800 highly trained volunteers from the army, including three Toledo men, who parachuted into enemy territory and worked with underground Allies to create chaos in German and Japanese occupied areas.
Listed among men who operated in Yugoslavia were Staff Sergt. W. S. Mierzejewski, 1021 Hamilton St.; T/5 F. G. Smolinski, 218 Detroit Ave., and W. J. Spiropoulus, 530 Nesslewood Ave., all of Toledo, and Staff Sergt. Steve T. Randolph, Bowling Green, O.
T/5 William Klingensmith, Bowling Green, was assigned to Norway and Lieut. Mills C. Grandes, Sandusky, O., to France.
The OSS men all spoke the languages of the country in which they were to operate. They functioned in parties of eight to 30 men, landing at night and contacting “partisans” in occupied territory, with whom they joined to strike the enemy in vital and vulnerable spots.
Of the 805 members of the OSS groups, 335 have already been decorated individually, by the U. S. or Allied governments.
After leaving the military, William lived in the Sidney, Ohio region. Here he met and married Dorothy Fronsoe.
William also joined the Ohio State Highway patrol in 1947; upon joining the OSHP he changed his last name to Marsh. He was assigned to the Troy Post 55 in 1948.
William passed away October 4, 1962 at the age of 40. Dorothy, his son Bill, and his siblings then moved to Miami, Florida in 1970.
Bill Marsh is seeking information on his father’s history, particularly with the OSS. If you can provide any data, please leave a message here and I will follow up.