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Melvin Harry Williams

Military

Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. 28 combat missions. Missing in Action (MIA) mission to Berlin in B-24 41-28591 attacked by E/A setting two engines alight, baled out 21-Jun-44. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5933.

"On our 28th and last mission the target was Berlin. We were hit by nine JU 88's before reaching the target. A JU 88 is a twin engine fighter and fires 20mm explosive shells. One shell knocked a large hole in No. 1 prop dome. We immediately lost all oil in that engine and had no control over engine or propeller. Another shell entered cock-pit at right side of instrument panel and came across Hagan's lap, thru the back of my seat and exploded against the left wall of the radio compartment. It opened up the wall so that we could see the fuel tanks in the wings. It set fire to the wall covering and a shell fragment hit Burton, radio operator, in the forehead. Just laid it open to the bone the complete width of his head."

Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

Service

People

  • Richard Briggs

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 6/21/44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: DFC, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Charles Burton

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 21-Jun-44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591, Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Hagan

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 21-Jun-44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • John Pool

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 6/21/44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Daniel Reading

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 6/21/44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Leo Ryan

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 6/21/44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Leroy Steingraber

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Nose Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 21-Jun-44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • James Vigna

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 21-Jun-44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Dush Vukelich

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters and crashed at Mangelsdorf on 21-Jun-44 in B-24 Archibald 41-28591 Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 5993. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 453rd Bomb Group

    453rd Bomb Group

    Group
    As well as strategic bombardment missions, the 453rd Bomb Group also ferried cargo on two occasions. They hauled petrol, blankets, and rations to France in September 1944 and dropped ammunition, food and medical supplies near Wesel during the airborne...

  • 735th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-28591 'Archibald'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Berlin attacked by E/A setting two engines alight, crashed at Mangelsdorf, crew baled out 21-Jun-44. 10 x POW. MACR 5933.

Associated Place

  • Old Buckenham

    Military site : airfield
    Allocated to the Eighth Air Force as a bomber base in 1942, Old Buckenham was built during 1942-43 with three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. The station was the exclusive home for the 453rd Bomb Group, equipped...

  • Stalag Luft III

    Other location

  • Dulag Luft 12

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Cope, CO 14 December 1916

Son of Charles Thomas Williams and Mrs Meta L Smith.

Lived in Cope, Colorado, USA 1941
Based Old Buckenham 1944 – 21 June 1944

Assigned to 735BS, 453BG, 8AF USAAF.

Prisoner of War (POW) Zagan, Poland 21 June 1944 – May 1945

Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag Luft III.

Shot down Berlin, Germany 21 June 1944

Missing in Action (MIA) mission to Berlin in B-24 41-28591 attacked by E/A setting two engines alight, baled out 21-Jun-44. POW. MACR 5933.

Died 20 October 1967
Buried Cope Cemetery Cope, Washington County, CO 23 October 1967

Cope Cemetery
Cope, Washington County, Colorado

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
14 December 2020 11:27:56 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, events, person associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28644113
https://www.fold3.com/image/538767228
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/98879613/melvin-harry-williams
http://www.453rd.com/guestbook/archive4.html

Date Contributor Update
08 August 2016 12:00:04 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, highest rank, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=41-28591&Submit6=Go
https://www.fold3.com/image/28644113

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:02 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 5933 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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