Monday, February 6, 2017

WW2 Fallen - C-47 co-pilot Fred Mentzer

Lt. Fred Mentzer.
Fred R. Mentzer could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on February 6, 1917 in Indiana. His parents were also both born in Indiana. His father was in the feed business and later became a real estate salesman. He died in 1939. Fred had an older sister and three older brothers. He had a younger sister. 

By 1940 Fred had completed two years of college education at Purdue University. He then moved to California and enrolled in an aeronautical school. Fred enlisted in the Army Air Corp as an aviation cadet on December 20, 1941, just a couple of weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack.

By August 1943 he had completed 50 successful bombing missions and was transferred to the less risky troop carrier service. At the time of his death Lt. Mentzer served in the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron, 374th Troop Carrier Group. It was the role of his unit to transport troops, equipment, ammunition, and weapons between Australia and New Guinea.

C-47s, like the one Lt. Mentzer flew, flying over New Guinea.

On October 19, 1943, Lt. Mentzer was co-pilot on a C-47 carrying supplies from Fenton to Townsville in Australia. It crashed near Boomera Station in Queensland, Australia due to bad weather.

His remains were returned to be buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery.

Thank you Fred for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Fred.

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