My Dad the War Hero!
William Miles Melvin in 1943 at age 19
Photo taken in late August, 1943, at Cecil Field (Jacksonville, Florida) in his room at the BOQ (Bachelor Officer’s Quarters). This was dad’s first operational assignment after graduation from Corpus Christi on August 7, 1943. He was in a dive bomber syllabus flying SBD “Dauntless” bombers.
If you live in the United States and your native language isn't Japanese, then you've got a debt to my dad and others just like him who fought and won World War 2. This site is devoted to keeping a historical record of those in his squadron who gave so much so long ago. Dad was a Naval Aviator who flew combat fighter aircraft off aircraft carriers. Dad helped the Marines raise the flag at Iwo Jima. Sound exciting? Then read on!
"Somebody once said
that Carrier Pilots were the best in the world,
and they MUST BE or there wouldn't be
any of them left alive."
After the war, dad worked in the finance department of GMAC in Chattanooga, Tennessee before going off to Chiropractic College in 1972 at age 48! He practiced successfully as a Chiropractor for many years until retiring in 1993.
Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on October 6, 2001! Click here for the picture from the paper.
Dad received a big batch of Air Medals in 2002! He received seven(!) Air Medals and a Distinguished Flying Cross. Dad flew over 50 combat missions between September 1944 and March 1945. Instead of weighing him down with actual medals, they provided gold and silver stars for the first through seventh awards. Click here for dad’s medal photos.
Dad passed away on May 7, 2009 from a heart attack after a battle with complications related to Diabetes. Click here to see the Obituary at Williams Funeral Home in Columbia, TN.
Where did America Get Such Men?
Why is America lucky enough to have such men?
They leave this tiny ship and fly against
Then they must seek the ship
lost on the sea
and when they find it,
they have to land upon its pitching deck.
James A. Michener
(from his novel: "The
Bridges at Toko-Ri")
Background design courtesy of Rick Collins at Cheap Graphics.