Carlson, Melvin C., Sgt

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1945-1945, AAF MOS 611, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
South Dakota
South Dakota
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Carlson, Melvin C., Sgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
427th Bomb quadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Apr 17, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Intentional Homicide
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Ardennes, Belgium
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot A, Row 44, Grave 83

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

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 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1945-1945, AAF MOS 611, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1945-1945, AAF MOS 611, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1945-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Melvin Conrad Carlson was born near Sisseton, South Dakota on September 27, 1924. His parents were Carl August and Annie Carlson. The US Census 1930 shows the family living in Goodwill, South Dakota.

Carlson volunteered for military service in October, 1942, but was inducted on December 8, 1943 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. After basic training and aerial gunnery school, he was deployed overseas to England on February 10, 1945. He was assigned to the Lt Thomas combat crew as tail gunner. He flew 21 credited missions with this crew, beginning in February, 1945.

The designated target area on April 17, 1945 was the Freidrichstadt marshalling yards at Dresden, Germany. The aircraft was struck by flak north of Brux, Czechoslovakia. The #2 engine began smoking, and was feathered. The bombs were released on target on the third bomb run. Then, the aircraft slipped left and exploded. Six parachutes were observed. The aircraft wreckage fell near Dresden.

All crew members made it to the ground safely. Carlson was captured by civilians and then shot in the head by an unknown assailant. No one was ever charged with the murder.

In 1950, Carlson's grave was discovered, and the remains exhumed. They were sent to the American (Ardennes) Cemetery in Belgium, where he lies in Plot A, Row 44, Grave 83.

Note: The mission narrative states this crew was from the 360th Bomb Squadron; in fact, they were in the 427th Bomb Squadron. crews Pages/.../Display.asp?
US Census 1930



Sgt Melvin C. Carlson was the assigned tail gunner on B-17G #42-102504, named "Sack Time," assigned to the 427th Bomb squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 14169 was issued to cover this loss. Mission loading lists state the crew was:

2 Lt Blaine E. Thomas  p
2 Lt Max R. Bartholomew  c-p
F/O Jerry Bonanno  nav
Sgt Gerald G. Eschinger  tog
Sgt Harry W. Haynes  eng/tt gun
Sgt Walter E. Smith  r/o
Sgt Luis L. Contreras  btg
Sgt Melvin C. Carlson  tail gun

No waist gunner assigned.

Carlson and Eschinger were murdered on the ground; all others taken prisoner.

In the crew photo, Carlson is in the back row, 3rd from left.

Service photo source:

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