Merle Joseph Mentel
My Great Uncle Joe was born in Monroe, Michigan on April 8, 1922. He served in the Army Air Corps from 11/11/1942 until 10/30/1945. He earned an Air Medal, American Theater Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal and 2 Bronze Stars. He was often a ball turret gunner, and he survived at least one crash due to hostile fire. He was one of twelve young friends to sign up in Monroe, and all twelve returned alive! He lived out his days as a carpenter who always cared for his parents. Unfortunately, he passed away on 3/6/2007. My Mom says that James Stewart was his commanding officer, and that they lost a proportionately large amount of good soldiers because the enemy was constantly on the look-out for the "F" on the tails of the B-24's that they flew.