MELTON continued.

This article was not found in the archives and is derived from the notes of Bob Crawford.

29 Jun 1941 - Florida Times (St. Petersburg, FL)

“Captain and Mrs. Harry Ripley Melton Jr. leave Klise Memorial Chapel (Grand Rapids, Michigan)after their marriage in the Grand Rapids Church June 23. The bride is the former Miss Natalie Jeanne Wilson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Irving DeLos Wilson of St. Petersburg and Grand Rapids. The bridegroom is the son of Col. and Mrs. Harry Ripley Melton of Columbia, South Carolina. The Meltons will make their new home at Charlotte Air Base in Charlotte, N.C.”

Col. Melton became commander of the 490th Fighter-Bomber Group on 26 Nov. 1942 and was replaced by Col. Charles G. Chandler Jr.. Previously a Lieutenant Colonel in command of the 84th Fighter Group.

Pacifica Military History, p. 149:

“November 25, 1943 - Burma

A joint coordinated USAAF-RAF bomber offensive begins against Rangoon-area strategic targets. Despite bad weather throughout the region, eleven 490th medium bombardment squadron B-25s and an unknown number of RAF bombers attack Japanese installations in the Rangoon area, including Rangoon/Mingaladon Airdrome. Escort for the B-25s is provided by the 530th Fighter Squadron.

Sixth 208th Heavy Bombardment Group B-24s on loan to the Tenth Air Force fail to local Zyatkwin Airdrome or locomotive repair shops at Insein due to heavy clouds over both targets, but several B-24s attack Akyab Airdrome on the return flight to India. Two B-24s crashed on takeoff, killing all on board, and one B-24 is fatally damaged by ground fire over the target and crashes with all aboard.

P-51 pilots of the 311th Fighter Groups 530th Fighter Squadron down four KI-45s over Rangoon and Mingaladon at 1300 hours. However, two P-51s are lost. this is the 311th Fighter Group’s combat debut, and the first appearance of P-51 Mustang fighters anywhere in the world. Col. Harry R. Melton Jr., the 311th Fighter Group commanding officer, is taken prisoner after his P-51 is fatally damaged by a KI-45 over Rangoon/Mingaladon Airdrome.”

Nakasaki KI-45 Toryu "Dragon Slayer" -  "Nick"

P-51A-1 Mustang