SSGT Melvin Jerold Gardner

SSGT Melvin Jerold Gardner

Birth
Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Death 3 Jun 1942 (aged 22)
Myanmar
Burial Taylor, Navajo County, Arizona, USA
Memorial ID 73034091 · View Source
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Gardner graduated from High School and enlisted in the service at Fort Bliss, Texas on October 5, 1939. He attended Airplane Mechanic's Course at Chanute Field, Illinois and was assigned to 34th Bomb Squadron at march Field, California. On April 18, 1942 he participated in the Doolittle Raid, the first air raid by the United States to strike the Japanese Home Islands during World War II. His B-25 came under attack by four Japanese fighter, and Gardner believed he shot down one and damaged another. They successfully bombed their targets and continued on to China where they safely bailed out 200 miles inland from the coast. Gardner sprained both his ankles upon landing. The entire crew made it safely to Chuhsien.

S/Sgt Gardner later served as a gunner on a B-25C bomber assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group, 11th Bombardment Squadron. On June 3, 1942 he took part in a flight of six B-25s from Dinjan, India to attack Lashio, Burma and then proceed over the Himalayas to a base in Kunming, China. The raid on Lashio was successful and the flight withdrew on course to Kunming at 10,000 feet in a thick overcast. Suddenly, Gardner's and two other planes crashed into the side of a mountain. The others barely missed hitting the ground after pulling up sharply.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and the Chinese Army, Navy, and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.

Gardner is also memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines.



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  • Created by: dfr
  • Added: 8 Jul 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 73034091
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for SSGT Melvin Jerold Gardner (6 Apr 1920–3 Jun 1942), Find a Grave Memorial no. 73034091, citing Taylor Cemetery, Taylor, Navajo County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by dfr (contributor 47109209) .