Merl served as a First Lieutenant & Pilot on B-17 (#42-30860), 337th Bomber Squadron, 96th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.
He resided in Idaho prior to the war.
Merl was declared "Missing In Action" when his B-17, while returning from a bombing mission to Bremen, Germany, was crashed into by B-17 "Holy Mackeral" (#42-3265) and ended up crashing into the Wadden Sea (North Sea).
The "Holy Mackeral" had been hit by enemy flak causing an explosion on board and the pilot, 2nd Lt. Ewing J Leblanc, lost control of his B-17 due to the damage done by the enemy.
He was awarded the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart.
Service # O-739858
Airmen who perished on B-17 (#42-30860):
Carpentieri, Anthony, S/Sgt, Left Waist Gunner, New York
Girvin, Robert P., 2nd Lt, Bombardier, California
Hull, John B., S/Sgt, Tail Gunner, New York
Kelly, Clarence E., S/Sgt, Nose Gunner, Georgia
Lemieux, Arthur L., T/Sgt, Top Turret Gunner, Maine
Rucker, Richard W., S/Sgt, Right Waist Gunner, Indiana
Schanke, Elbert W., 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, Minnesota
Schroeder, Merl L., 1st Lt, Pilot, Idaho
Tracy, Henry A., 2nd Lt, Navigator, Nebraska
Wade, Ivan J., T/Sgt, Radio Operator, California
For the Crew of B-17 "Holy Mackeral" (#42-3265) see:
Le Blanc, Ewing J., 2nd Lt, Pilot, Louisiana