Alderman, Melvin, 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1091-Pilot, B-17
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1945-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Second Lieutenant

 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 Alderman, Melvin, 2nd Lt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
427th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Apr 06, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery - Louisville, Kentucky
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section I, Site 96-98

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

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 Ribbon Bar

Pilot 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)
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 1054, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1945-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 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  
  1944-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Melvin Alderman was born on May 14, 1918 in South Dakota. His parents were Louis P. and Pauline Alderman. (Some census data lists her as "Paulino." ) The 1935 South Dakota Census lists the family in South Dakota, while the US Census 1940 has them residing in Cassellton, North Dakota.

No enlistment record has been located, but judging by rank, experience, and training, it is assumable that he enlisted in military service in 1943. He received pilot training and further training as a pilot on multi-engined aircraft.

After a leave in December, 1944, he deployed to England and was assigned as co-pilot on the combat crew led by Lt Smith. He flew 32 missions starting in December, 1944. He flew as co-pilot until March, 1945 when he was upgraded to First Pilot.

On April 6, 1945, he flew as pilot with the new Lt Roman Ley crew on their first mission. This was a bombing raid on the marshalling yards at Leipzig, Germany. As the aircraft departed the IP, it collided with another aircraft. It fell from formation, and exploded in mid-air. No parachutes observed.

German troops retrieved eight bodies from the wreckage, near Teplitz, Germany. (Some accounts say "Loessnitz.") These were buried in local cemeteries. After the war ended, they were recovered, and some were moved to the American cemeteries in Europe; others were sent to the U.S. At least six members, two of the Alderman crew, were buried in a common grave at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Kentucky, where they lie in Section I, Site 96-98. crews
U.S. Evangical Lutheran Church of America Records, 1875-1947
US Census 1940
South Dakota Census 1935


Lt Melvin Alderman was the pilot of B-17G #43-38958, nicknamed "Green Hill Belle," assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 13719 details this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:

2 Lt Melvin Alderman  p
2 Lt Roman M. Ley  c-p
F/O George S. Thomas  nav
2 Lt Howard G. Weinberg bomb
Cpl Raoul R. Prieto  eng/tt gun
Cpl William M. Toler  r/o
Sgt Don Beebe  btg
Cpl Jesse M. Moore  tail gun

No waist gunner assigned.

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

In the Smith crew photo, Alderman is in the back row, at right.

Service photo source:


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