|Death: ||Oct. 15, 1944|
Melvin P. Brown's parents are not known as of this writing but it is believed they were Morris and Bessie Brown and they lived in the Bronx, New York, New York.
Melvin enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 11/13/1942 in New York City, New York, for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law. After completing his basic training, he attended various service schools, earning his aerial gunner wings in the process.
On 10/15/1944 Melvin, now a veteran bomber crewman and gunner took off from Nuthampstead Air Base, England, for a bombing run over Cologne, Germany. Second Lieutenant William Meyran was the normal pilot for Melvin's crew but on this mission some of his Meyran's crew had been ordered to remain behind and other personnel were placed on-board to include First Lieutenant Charles L. Khouri who would be serving as the Aircraft Commander (AC) on this mission as well as working as the co-pilot. He was on this mission to evaluate Meyran's performance and suitability to be promoted to the AC position (though some claim Meyran was already an AC at this point).
It was Lt. Meyran's 25th (actual birth records state it was his 24th) birthday that very day. He was an only child from Los Angeles and was set to inherit a great deal of money from his grandfather's estate on the occasion of his 25th birthday. Meyran had passed the word to the crew that when the mission was over they would be having a celebratory party to commemorate his birthday and his inheritance.
The crew had been assigned to an unnamed B-17, Sn#42-97746, for this bombing mission over Cologne, Germany. Melvin was assigned as the tail-gunner on the plane. Just after lifting off the runway, power was lost to all four engines and the bomber hit the top of the old moated medieval castle mound not far from the end of the runway and exploded with the majority of the bomber landing in the moat. All of the crew were killed.
The following personnel were killed in the crash of this aircraft:
Aircraft Commander and Co-Pilot - 1LT. Charles L. Khouri
Pilot - 2LT. William Meyran
Navigator - 2LT. William J. Vanderlick
MIC Navigator - 2LT. John P. Baker
Bombardier - 2LT. Carlton C. Moore, Jr.
Engineer Top Turrett Gunner - T/Sgt. William S. Tull
Radio Operator/Right Waist Gunner - T/Sgt. George E. Barton
Tail Gunner - S/Sgt. Melvin P. Brown
Ball Turrett Gunner - Sgt. Charles R. Kennedy
Left Waist Gunner - Sgt. Victor C. Petrauskas
Staff Sergeant Melvin P. Brown, Sn #12185250, earned the following badges/decorations during his service in World War II:
- Army Air Corps Aerial Gunner Wings
- Purple Heart Medal
- Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
- Army Good Conduct Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- European Theater of Operations Campaign Medal with bronze battle/campaign stars
- World War II Victory Medal
- Presidential Unit Citation ribbon
Note: Entered the service from New York.
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Plot: Plot D Row 5 Grave 34
Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56288141
In honored remembrance of your valiant service and ultimate sacrifice for our great nation and the Allied cause during World War II. May it not have been in vain.|
Rick Lawrence, MSgt., USMC/USAFR (RET)
Added: May. 21, 2013
Added: Aug. 19, 2010