P. E. Foxworth, crack G-man who ranked high in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was well known locally, was killed along with 35 others when a giant American transport plane crashed on the desolate coast of Dutch Guiana in South Africa January 15.
The crash was the worst aviation tragedy in American history and carried to death many prominent men who were bound for the war theater in North Africa.
Mrs. Foxworth, wife of the deceased G-man, was reared in Pearl River county and is the daughter of Mrs. L. H. Holliday, Sr., of Poplarville and the sister of Jim John, L. H. and tom Holliday of Poplarville.
Mr. Foxworth, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time of his death, was born in Purvis, Lamar county, the son of the late Eugene Foxworth. He began school in Purvis but moved with his parents to Pearl River county. He attended Pearl River Junior College at Poplarville where he met and fell in love with Miss Ann Holliday.
Mr. and Mrs. Foxworth were married 16 years ago and his first job was with the Edward Hines Lumber Company at Lumberton where he worked in the planer mill. He worked his way from this job to that of accountant for the company, and when the company moved from Lumberton to Oregon in 1930 he went to the new plant in Oregon.
He was attached to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an accountant in 1932, and was later attached to the executive offices in Washington, first as a supervisor, then as an inspector. In 1939 he was sent to New York in charge of a special detail investigating Federal Judge Martin Manton who was convicted. At the close of the case, he was made chief of the New York office of the F. B. I. to succeed Dwight Brantley who was transferred to Kansas City, Mo.
Mr. Foxworth had, prior to the New York assignment, served in other F. B. I. offices throughout the country. During his connection with the New York office, after war was declared, he was largely instrumental in the rounding up of many enemy aliens and spies in the New York area.
High-ranking government officials joined army and navy leaders and F. B. I. employees Monday in memorial services in New York for Mr. Foxworth.
Facing a flower-banked altar in the First Presbyterian Church in New York, more than 1000 persons heard services read for the official known throughout the F. B. I. organization as "Sam."
J. Edgar Hoover, director of the F. B. I., Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum, commander of the First Army and Eastern Defense Command, and Mayor Fiorello T. LaGuardia were among the officials attending.
The widow was escorted to the service by Thomas E. Donnegan, now in charge of the New York office of the F. B. I. Others in the family group were Miss Mattie Foxworth, a sister, of Washington, and Mrs. T. W. Roberts, a sister of Foxworth, Miss.
Prior to the services many high officials paid tribute to Mr. Foxworth. Mr. Hoover, upon hearing of the tragedy, called Mr. Foxworth "one of my most capable assistant."
To Return Home
Mrs. Foxworth has announced no definite plans. The Democrat was informed Wednesday that Mrs. Foxworth will arrive Friday from new York aboard the Southern Stream-liner. She will be at the home of her mother here, Mrs. L. H. Holliday, Sr.
An army board is investigating the possible cause of the crash, according to a statement made by Major General Harold L. George, commanding officer of the air transport command, who stated that the pilot and crew of the plane "were just about the best in the business."
The type of plane was not disclosed, but it was apparently one of the new four-motored transports and unquestionably larger than the DC3s commonly used by United States commercial air lines which normally accommodate 21 passengers.
Officials stated, especially after it became known that President Roosevelt was in Africa, that no indication of sabotage was present. Many quarters felt that sabotage was responsible and that enemy agents had tampered with the plane under the impression that it would be the one used by the president on his trip to Africa.
The Weekly Democrat, Poplarville, Mississippi, Thursday, January 28, 1943.