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Melvin F Larson




  • Robert Fisk

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Norman Kempton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 5 January 1944 in B-17 #42-5899 'Sioux City Queen'. ...

  • Clarence Malmberg

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Alvin Marcus

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    RTD 13 Nov 1943. B17 #42-30213 'Lil One'. After develeoping severe vibrations from a runaway prop that would not feather after take-off, the crew was ordered to bail out. AC crashed near Ipswich.

  • George Montgomery

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Pilot B-17 42-30793 (mission navigation support) on Aphrodite [remote controlled flying bomb] mission to V1 missile site at Wizernes, France. 4-8-44.

  • Arthur Pohl

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Michael Soldato

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). B-17F #42-30662 'Worry Bird'.

  • Robert Thompson

    Military | Private First Class | 388th Bomb Group

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Units served with

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 560th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-30195 Blind Date

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 11/5/43; Smoky Hill 10/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 16/6/43; [66m] crashed on take off for Bohlen oil depot 7/10/44 with Harry Resch, Co-pilot: Jim Fraser, Navigator: George Miner,...

  • 42-30214 'IZA ANGEL II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 10/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall [ -M] 26/6/43; Missing in Action Gdynia 9/10/43 with Henry Nagorka, John Leverone, Mike Mahoney, Francis Antalek, Bill Caruso, John...

  • 42-30595 'Gremlin Gus II' "Olin's 69'ers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 42-37819

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 10/9/43; Scott 7/10/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 25/10/43; Missing in Action Berlin 8/3/44 with Len Tobias, Co-pilot: Walt Yurkurtat, Navigator: Herb Gotha, Bombardier: Alf Hano (4 Killed in Action); Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-37878 Millie K

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 28/9/43; Grand Island 20/10/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG [S] Knettishall 2/11/43; Missing in Action Ludwigshafen 28/9/44 with Lester Frawley, Co-pilot: Ray Klinke, Navigator: Harry Bouten, Bombardier: Paul Kaufman, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-38187

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/1/44; Gr Island 21/1/44; Assigned 560BS/388BG [D] Knettishall 9/2/44; damaged by Luftwaffe at Poltava, Rus, with Lt Malaniak 21/4/44; repaired & ret to base; retUS 4100 BU Patterson 23/3/45; Recl Comp 2/5/46.

  • 42-5899 Sioux City Queen

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 27/4/43; Sioux City 4/5/43; Smoky Hill 10/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 17/6/43. Missing in Action Bordeaux 5 January 1944 with Pilot Norman P. Kempton, Navigator: Stanley A. Plytynski, Bombardier: William...

  • 42-5900 Virgin On The Verge

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 29/4/43; Sioux City 5/5/43; Smoky 9/6/43; Dow Fd 12/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 14/6/43; Salvaged NBD 1/8/44. VIRGIN ON THE VERGE.

Associated Place

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...


Event Location Date
Born Worcester, MA 8 March 1921
388th BG Combat Tour Knettishall Airfield, UK 29 November 1943 – 8 July 1944

Completed a 30 combat missions.
His original crew (Norman Kempton) was shot down without him on 5 Jan 1944 forcing him to complete his tour as a replacement gunner/togglier with 10+ different crews.

Married Thetford, UK 14 October 1944

Married his English bride, Gladys

Died Snohomish County, WA 13 November 2008

Melvin F. Larson was born in Worchester MA, on March 8, 1921. A promising student who intended on becoming a surgeon at Tufts University, Melvin instead went to work to help support his family during the Great Depression. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps after the start of WWII.
From November 1943 to July 1944 he flew 30 combat missions as a bombardier on B-17s with the 8th Air Force in England. His service in WWII earned him the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the French Croix de Guerre, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. His combat career is detailed in the book GI Joe in France by J.E. Kauffman, published this year.
On October 14, 1944, Melvin married his wife Gladys in Thetford, England. Their union lasted for 64 years. After WWII, Melvin served for 23 years in the US Air Force in bases across the globe. He was a Mason for 50 years.
After the Air Force, Melvin put 15 years in the Post Office. During that time he earned a paralegal degree from Edmonds Community College. Later he would be ordained as first a deacon and then a priest in the Anglican faith, and earned his Bachelor of Religion from Geneva Theological College, NC, in 1983. As a member of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church, he rose to the position of Archbishop. He received his Doctor of Divinity degree from the FPEC Theological University in Bien, Switzerland, and eventually retired from ecclesiastical work as Archbishop Emeritus.
Melvin is survived by his wife, Gladys; and their four children, each born in a different part of the world, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and his sister, Beverly.
Melvin died at peace on November 13, 2008. He was laid to rest at Floral Hills Cemetery in Lynnwood, WA.

Buried Lynwood, WA 17 November 2008

Floral Hills Cemetery
Lynnwood, Snohomish County, Washington


Date Contributor Update
02 June 2020 17:46:26 466thHistorian Changes to awards

Date Contributor Update
02 June 2020 17:42:33 466thHistorian Changes to service number, highest rank, role, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

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

2010.0418.0055 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia