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LT  Melville G. BOYD

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: CP

CP on Lt Robert Pearson Crew

 Melville G. Boyd, Jr. (Copilot on the Pearson crew) Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

SERIAL #: O-797960 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00272 CR: 00272

Comments1: 4 JUL 43 LaPALLICE, Original 100th, Crew #20

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
 
          A/C #42-30051
   MACR   #272,Micro-fiche 90

1st Lt Robert C.Pearson               P   POW  4 July 1943  La Pallice,France   
2nd Lt Melville G.Boyd,Jr              CP  POW  4 July 1943    La Pallice,France  
1st Lt Bruce T.Rinker              NAV  POW  4 July 1943  La Pallice,France   
2nd Lt John L.Dunbar             BOM  EVADEE 4 July 1943   La Pallice,France  
 T/Sgt Jack M.Goss                 TTE  POW  4 July 1943   La Pallice,France  
 T/Sgt Randall G.Yilla              ROG   POW  4 July 1943   La Pallice,France  
   Sgt Everett J.Moore             BTG  POW  4 July 1943   La Pallice,France  
 S/Sgt Lonnie B.Rutledge         RWG   POW  4 July 1943    La Pallice,France  
 S/Sgt John T. Westwood        LWG   POW  4 July 1943   La Pallice,France  
 S/Sgt Albert N.Purcell                TG   POW  4 July 1943   La Pallice,France  

 351st Sqdn. Original Crew #20.  This was the fourth Crew lost by the Group

V.E.Fienup,E.V.Mulholland and T.E.Murphy reported last sighting of A/C.
One of these gave following report: "#1 (Pearson) of 2nd Element approximately a mile from
target and slightly behind other formation. Formation turned slightly to left. Pearson turned
slightly to, the right and down. No 2 & 3 A/C of this Element followed throttled back and over
ran Pearson. Pearson motioned for 2 & 3 A/C to go ahead. This left #2 & #3 in rear of
formation These A/C proceeded to catch up. All during this time Pearson had bomb bays open.
Pearson descended turning and heading west over water. All engines were turning. No props
feathered or engine smoking. He descended very rapidly. Fienup saw 051 release bombs short of
target,do a 180  turn and lose altitude. Reason unknown."


Melville Boyd,Jr. later stated that all crew members bailed cut safely and landed on IL D
Oleron. He last saw all crew members safe in U.S.

In May 1979 Al Purcell returned a Crew roster of Crew #20 noting that all members except
Dunbar were POWs. Dunbar an evadee. Enlisted men in Stalag 17-B.

Al Purcell letter dated 9 Feb.1980   . . . ."As we started our bomb run both inboard engines
went out at the same time,which accounted for our loss of altitude so fast. Jack Goss(our
engineer) told me later that the 2 engines lost power at the same time for no apparent
reason,as if sugar or something had been put into the fuel. We dropped our bombs over the
water and as I understood we were trying to make it to Spain. At this point ME 109s attacked
us from the rear and knocked out another engine -- with, only one left we were ordered to bail
lut. We did shoot down 2 MEs. After the tail gunner I was the 3 or 4 man out. As I floated
down I watched the plane crash and burn on the small island. Pearson landed in the water,Boyd
broke an arm landing,Dunbar was lucky,the French hid him and he escaped capture. I had just
enough time to roll up my chute before being picked up. The rest of the crew were picked up
along with me. As for the engine failure -- Jack Goss gave me details at the time -- and said
Pearson was questioned by the Germans as to why he was leading 2nd element instead of A
flight. This made us think there was sabotage of some kind since the Group commander or some
high ranking officer was to fly with us but changed his mind the night before the mission.

 
 
Subj: Requested Pictures 
Date: 7/29/2001 11:41:51 AM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: theboyds@megalink.net (Mike Boyd)To: MPFaley@aol.com (Mike P Faley)  
 
Hello Mike,
Good to hear from you again and thanks for the update. I have found some great pictures and documents. John Westwood sent me a picture of the entirecrew together, along with others. I have attached 3 pictures:
1. Crew 20A - Left to Right:  Standing M. Guy Boyd, Robert Pearson, Bruce Rinker, Lonnie Rutledge, Everett Moore ?? John DunbarFront rowJack "Goose" GossRandall VillaJohn Westwood Albert Purcell ??

2. Crew20B - Left to right Jack "Goose" Goss, Lonnie Rutledge, Randall Villa - seatedJohn Westwood, Mr. Brown - (left crew -flight school)

3. My fathers picture from flight school

I have so many documents scanned and collected that a story is forming.Original Stalag records, debriefings, diaries, and censored letters, etc.One addition to the sabotage information is that Crew #20 missed the first 5missions because they were in a place called "Wash" for advanced training.It appears this was due to a special officer and his staff planning to flywith them on July 4th for a secret mission. He backed out the night before.I tried to send other documents to Cindy Goodman, but I don't know what made it. The attachments are huge files as you can see. I had to scan them at a high resolution for clarity and preservation. Talk to her and see if any ofthat helps you.Keep in touch and let me know if I can provide any other information. I maynot have my files complete for some time, but I will again offer a CD of what I have to date.Thanks Again,Mike


**** NOTE*** A litle known fact!!  While crew #20's plane was going
down, they dropped their bombs. Lonnie Rutledge was moving toward the
escape hatch and fell through, getting caught in the gears. Jack "GOOSE"
Goss stayed and pulled him free before the plane crashed, and this is
the only reason Lonnie survived. I spoke with Jack Goss yesterday, He
just turned 82, and he recalled this account to me. I also spoke with
John Westwood, who turns 80 next month, and he is doing well. He was
left behind in Stalag 17B due to his legs being so infected he couldn't
walk, but Jack Goss has good memories of the march. I'm sure someone
will want to talk to both of these hero's?

Regards and Thanks,
Mike Boyd

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: LaPallice DATE: 1943-07-04  
AIRCRAFT: "Nevada Wildcat" (42-30051) CAUSE: EAC-Crash Landed  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Robert C. Pearson crew. Standing (Left to Right): M. Guy Boyd; Robert Pearson; Lonnie Rutledge; Everett Moore;Bruce Rinker; John Dunbar 
Front row (Left to Right) Jack "Goose" Goss;John Westwood; Randall Villa; Albert Purcell  

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 478