A hero’s welcome home: Remains of a Missouri World War II lieutenant properly buried

Melvin Meyer
Melvin Meyer(KY3)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:03 PM CDT
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WENTZVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - Nearly eight decades ago, a B-17 Flying Fortress soared into Germany to attack a factory. The plane, Yankee Doodle Dandy, crashed.

Four men died and disappeared.

In 2012, the military found the crash site. Seven years later, a group called History Flight excavated the site in Germany. This is where the group found the remains of First Lieutenant Melvin Meyer of Missouri.

History Flight utilizes electromagnetic scanning, high-resolution aerial maps, old military maps, and archaeologists. These tools lead to the resolution long in the making.

Mark Noah, a member of History Flight, says it was an easy recovery.

“You could see all four engines and the center of the cockpit as if it had impacted the ground. And so, it made it very easy for us to place the archaeologist right on top of the target, and we were recovering parts of the airplane on the first day of the effort,” said Noah.

Items recovered from the scene in Germany were taken to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. They included a Bible, a pocket knife, and a pen fragment. The items may have belonged to First Lt. Meyer.

“The Bible was in his flight suit in the jacket pocket of his flight suit above his heart,” Noah explained.

First Lt. Meyer was properly buried in Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, just three days short of the 79th anniversary of the crash in World War II– perhaps a testament to the determination – to never give up... ever.

“The simple fact remains that the missing from World War II– their families feel the injury from that just the same as people that died in Afghanistan or Iraq. I mean, it’s no different. Time doesn’t change a thing on that subject. So, it’s incredibly valuable, it’s wonderful for us to be able to see them have that closure and have that kind of success,” Noah says.

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