HEARTBREAKING |Memphis Belle Gunner Dies Right After He…

HEARTBREAKING |Memphis Belle Gunner Dies Right After He… | World War Wings Videos


One Of Those Bitter Sweet Moments.

On May 6th, 2016, Melvin Rector, 94, passed away quietly in a field. He was however, in England for the first time since he left after World War II.

Back then he was Master Sgt. Melvin Rector, a gunner and radio operator in the 96th Bomb Group based in England. He flew 8 combat missions over Germany, all of them in B-17 Flying Fortresses. As he recalled it, four of them he almost didn’t survive as enemy fire was so heavy the planes got back peppered with bullet holes. At one point, he was even a gunner on the famous Memphis Belle.

Melvin Rector, left, with other fliers. Photo Source: floridatoday.com
Melvin Rector, left, with other airmen. Photo Source: floridatoday.com

Having done his duty and defended England from the Nazis, he returned home and did not step foot on British soil since. He had 6 kids and retired in Florida. At 94, he decided to change that however.

He signed up for a travel program sponsored by the National World Wr II Museum and flew out in the hopes of visiting the Royal Air Force Station Snetterton Heath in Norfolk. That’s where he was stationed during the war.

Stepping on British for the first time in 71 years, his first stop before his goal was the Battle of Britain Bunker. After leaving the tour however, he said he felt dizzy and passed on minutes later.

“He couldn’t have asked for a better way to go,” said his daughter Sandy Vavruich. “It was quick and painless. He had just gotten to see two planes, and he passed away between them.”

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