|Lt. Monson (third from left) is standing with the officers of his B-17 crew.|
Stephen M. Monson never had a chance to be 100 years old today. Instead, he lost his life in the service of his country during World War 2.
He was born on April 21, 1917 in Utah. His parents were also both born in Utah. His father was an oil company laborer and later a sheep herder. Stephen had three younger brothers. By 1940 Stephen had completed four years of high school and was working as a filing clerk.
Stephen enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 23, 1942 as an aviation cadet.
He was a second lieutenant in the 323rd Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force where he had the position of bombardier.
On September 6, 1943, Lt. Monson's B-17 ditched in the English Channel after running out of gas on the return flight from it's bombing mission. Three crewmen died but Lt. Monson and seven other were rescued to return to duty.
On October 4, 1943 Lt. Monson was not so lucky. He was part of a mission with five planes from his squadron to bomb Frankfurt, Germany. Two planes aborted and two planes returned, but Lt. Monson's plane crash landed in Belgium. The nine other crewmen were captured by the Germans, but Lt. Monson was killed.
His remains were returned to be buried at the American Fork City Cemetery.
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