Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Melching, Wagner Personal Papers
SDASM.SC.10199  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (56.23 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
This collection belonged to Wagner Melchun who served in the 483rd Bombardment Group. ​The 483rd was a B-17 group that fought with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy from April 1944 to April 1945, mainly taking part in the strategic bombing offensive.
Background
This collection belonged to Wagner Melchun who served in the 483rd Bombardment Group. ​The 483rd was a B-17 group that fought with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy from April 1944 to April 1945, mainly taking part in the strategic bombing offensive. The group was activated in the US on 20 September 1943 and moved to Italy in March/April 1944. Combat operations with the Fifteenth Air Force began in April 1945 and the group spent most of its time attacking strategic targets across much of occupied Europe and Germany. It received two distinguished unit citations for its strategic bombing. The first was awarded for an attack on a German airfield at Memmingen on 18 July 1944 carried out without a fighter escort. The second was for an attack on tank factories at Berlin on 24 March 1945. The group also flew a number of tactical missions. In the summer of 1944 the group destroyed two spans of the Casarsa Bridge, cutting the Tarviso railway line, one of two main lines that linked the German front line to north-eastern Italy. In August 1944 it supported the Allied invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon). In April 1945 the group supported the Allied armies during their final offensive in the Po valley. After the end of the war the group was used to fly American personnel from Italy to North Africa on the first stage of their journey home to the US. It was inactivated in Italy on 25 September 1945.
Extent
.25 Cubic Feet The collection contains one photo album, photographs, roster, and personal papers dating from 1942 to 1945. The material is not in individual folders, but in plastic bags and sleeves.
 The collection is housed in one archival box measuring 12.5x9.5x3. 
Availability
The collection is open to use by appoinment, some restrictions may apply.