LARSON, Merle Elmo
Name: Merle Elmo LARSON
Born 18 November 1920
Birthplace: Rock County, Minnesota
Age at arrival in Buchenwald: 23
Died 10 December 1997 in Mesa, Arizona, age 77
Service ID: O-495759
Service Rank: Captain
Duties: Fighter pilot
Air Group: 9th Air Force, 474th Fighter Group, 429th Fighter Squadron
Airbase: Warmwell, Dorset UK
Aircraft: P-38 42-67765
Date shot down: 21 June 1944
Fate of crew: Evaded for three weeks, then captured,
Evasion summary: Injured in landing.
Date captured: 12 July 1944 (approximate)
Capture summary: Betrayed by redheaded woman, probably Orsini or Lallier.
Boxcar Transport: 15-20 August 1944, in boxcar #3 with Bedford, Martini, Wilson, Carr, Pennell, Perry, Bastable, Grenon, Gibson, High, Hodgson, Prudham, Sonshine, Robb, R Mills, Whellum, Spierenburg, Taylor, Allen, Harvie, McLaughlin, Moser, Petrich. Roberson, Stevenson, Vinecombe, Zeiser and, at train change, Lamason, Dauteuil, Watmough, Scullion, Smith, Head, Watson, and C Hoffman.
Buchenwald ID: 78363
Notes on Buchenwald internment: Senior officer responsible for US airmen.
Transferred from Buchenwald to: Stalag Luft III, North Compound
Kriege ID: 8145
Notes on SLIII internment:
Subsequent transfer to: Stalag XIIID, Nurnburg
Notes on SXIIID internment: Hospitalized for infected injuries and illness. Unable to march to VIIA.
Liberation: Liberated on 16 April 1945 by American forces.
Repatriation from ETO:
Notes on Post-War period: Received Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in North Africa in 1943. Extended discussion with quotes from interviews are at http://myboysdonteatpasta.blogspot.com/2010/11/veterans-day.html