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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: USAAF

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:


VA status:

Notes on Post-War period: Received Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in North Africa in 1943. Extended discussion with quotes from interviews are at

LARSON, Merle Elmo


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