25 Feb 1945 – Tampa Bay Times – Next-of-Kin Will Hear 12 Repatriates –
Next-of-kin of prisoners of war in St. Petersburg are invited by the Tampa chapter of the American Red Cross to attend a meeting in Tampa. Twelve members of the AAF who have been repatriated or have escaped from prison camps will be speakers. Mrs. Harry R. Melton Jr., wife of Col. Melton, MIA for 15 months, will be chairperson of the meeting.
6 May 1945 – Tampa Bay Times – Spring Luncheon Is Given For Mrs. Philip B. Scott
Mrs. Charles Major gave a spring luncheon at the Yacht club honoring her daughter, Mrs. Philip B. Scott, visiting for a few weeks. Invited guests includes Mrs. Harry R. Melton Jr.
8 & 17 Jul 1945 – Tampa Bay Times – Col. Harry Melton Listed Prisoner of Japanese
After more than a year, Mrs. Natalie Wilson Melton, 2328 Brevard Road, St. Petersburg, received official word by telegram that Col. Harry Ripley Melton Jr. is a prisoner of war. He was taken prisoner Dec. 6, 1943, and was in the Rangoon Cantonment (a former British prison) until Jan., 1944, when he was moved.
20 Mar 1946 – Tampa Bay Times & 23 Mar 1946 – The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) – Col. Melton Declared Dead - His wife received a war department telegram that he has been declared dead.
17 Jul 1946 – Tampa Bay Times – Mrs. Harry R. Melton Jr. and daughter, Ann, has returned from their San Antonio, Texas, visit with her late husband’s parents.
The following is extracted from a variety of sources, including detailed notes from Bob Crawford, available on several public ancestry trees on Ancestry.com:
David and Goliath-2d Lt. Owen J. Baggett by John L. Frisbee - AIR FORCE MAGAZINE/July 1996
“… Col. Harry Melton, commander of the 311th Fighter Group who had been shot down, passed through the POW camp and told Baggett that a Japanese colonel said the pilot Owen Baggett had fired at had been thrown clear of his plane when it crashed and burned. He was found dead of a single bullet in his head. Colonel Melton intended to make an official report of the incident but lost his life when the ship on which he was being taken to Japan was sunk...”
Hump Pilots Association, China-Burma-India – Turner Publishing © 1991; p. 184
An excerpt from this book refers to an enlisted soldier named Glen A. Alt Jr., one of 32 men comprising the 385th Bomber Squadron. (P-51 Mustangs), 311th Bomber Group., who left the States for India in July 1943. After arriving in Bombay, they moved on to Gaya, India, arriving on Sept. 20, 1943. "While there he went on a wild game hunt with Col. Harry R. Melton who was the Commander of the 311th Bomber Group. Later, he ended up as his driver." The excerpt also states that "Col. Melton failed to return from a mission on Nov. 25, 1943."
Col. Harry R Melton Jr. is listed among 506 members of the University of Alabama national Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta to die in World War II. He is one of seven from University of Alabama and is listed as having been there in 1934.
Ballard and Carlisle Counties History, Vol. 1, 1993, Library of Congress # 92-85143, by Ballard-Carlisle Historical-Genealogical Society - Served as a pilot in WW II; Captured by Japanese; died in captivity.