TSgt. Allan - The Story Continues . . Editor's Comment
Mel was crew chief in the 49th Fighter Group which converted from P-40's to P-38's after they got to New Guinea. In June 1943 he was sent back to Australia to become part of the initial cadre of the 475th Fighter Group. They were forming the 475th with old hands from New Guinea and new guys from the U.S. Mel was now an "old hand." The new 475th entered the war at Port Moresby in August 1943. Mel completed his overseas duty at Biak Island just before the 475th moved on to Leyte, Philippines. Too much sun, too many fevers, too many long hours, too much fatigue, and too many scary times and lost buddies finally took their toll. (Notice that none of these things made their way into his narrative as complaints!) More than a year after his "Real Point" time, TSgt. Allan was finally rotated home. He arrived in Seattle in November 1944. He had several stateside assignments and was finally discharged "with a papers and a train ticket to St. Louis -- where it all began."
"I laid around and took it easy for a month or so, but we needed groceries so I started looking for work. I took a job in a local factory making 18 wheelers and while there met the cutest redhead ever. Too cute because after a couple of years a-courtin' we were married in 1948. We are still happily married! I stayed at that job for about 15 years until the factory closed and moved out of town. I, then got an offer to work for the local government as a construction inspector where ten years later, I took over a department as foreman. I retired in 1980 to tend gardens, flowers, and kids."
These are the "Letters Home." Tsgt Allan is doing fine and living happily in retirement with Dorothy, his "cutest redhead," in Iowa. He is still a prolific writer with a phenomenal memory for details and will, hopefully continue to send stories.
Return to Previous Letter
June 6, 2000