Last Known Activity
Meran A. Barsam was born in Ohio in 1919. (His name is spelled "Merian" in several sources, but NARA records and gravestone state "Meran.") Evidently, at some time, he moved to California because his NARA enlistment record states he enlisted on April 10, 1942 at Los Angeles. It also states he had completed 4 years of high school, and was employed as a general office clerk.
He was selected for flight training, and upon completion of this instruction, he was commissioned and assigned to an operational unit based in England.
Although records show he was assigned to the Crockett crew, he flew as co-pilot on his first 2 missions with the Stallings crew. Then, he flew 3 missions with Crockett.
Mission reports say nothing about him being wounded on any mission prior to his death, but American Battlefield Monuments Commission state he received the Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
On August 27, 1943, he flew as co-pilot with the Crockett crew on a raid on the Special V-Weapons Installations at Watten, France. Intermittent but accurate flak was encountered. Only about 25 enemy aircraft were seen, but the heavy Spitfire escort kept them from attacking the formation.
Crockett's aircraft was hit by flak in the front bomb bay, and large pieces of the aircraft tore loose. On fire, the aircraft started down, and some of the crew bailed out. The aircraft crashed between the villages of Morbecque and Bois des Huit Rues, killing three of the crew.
The dead were buried in a British plot in a local cemetery, but later reburied, 2 in the U.S. while Lt. Barsam was buried in the American Cemetery at Normandy. He lies in Plot C, Row 4, Grave 23.
NARA Enlistment Records
Lt Meran A. Barsam was the co-pilot on B-17F # 42-29754, named "Shangrila Lil," assigned to the 360th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 405 covers this incident. Mission loading lists, and the MACR, state the crew was composed of:
2 Lt George W. Crockett p
2 Lt Meran A. Barsam c-p
2 Lt Israel Millner nav
2 Lt William J. Cramsie bomb
TSgt Morris Tepper eng/tt gun
TSgt Allan D. Jaynes r/o
SSgt Benjamin Clarke, Jr btg
SSgt Eugene F. Williams lwg
Sgt Eddie D. Homer rwg
SSgt James C. Burke tail gun
Lts Barsam and Cramsie as well as TSgt Tepper were the killed crew members, The remainder were captured.
Crew photo ID:
Cramsie, Crockett, Millner, Barsam
Clarke, Williams, Burke, Jaynes, Douglas, Tepper
(Douglas was later replaced by Homer)
Service photo source: