Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Melvin Anderson. Melvin served during World War II.
Melvin enlisted with the United States Army in 1942. After completing his training, he was assigned as an M10 tank destroyer crewman with the 803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. In 1944, Melvin and the 803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion were sent to England in preparation for the D-Day landings.
Melvin landed in Normandy on June 10. Soon after arriving in France, Melvin was wounded by a sniper’s bullet. After three months of recovery, he returned to action with his unit.
On Nov. 25, 1944, during the battle for Hürtgen Forest on the German-Belgian border, Melvin’s M10 tank destroyer was set ablaze by German artillery fire. Melvin and his crewmate, Joseph Akers, were unable to escape.
Melvin’s remains were retrieved in 1947, but could not be identified with forensic methods available at the time. In 1951, Melvin was interred in an unknown grave at a U.S. Military cemetery in France.
For actions during his service, Melvin was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
In spring 2018, advances in forensic science allowed Melvin’s remains to be identified. He was returned to his family and buried with full military honors at Omaha National Cemetery in his home state of Nebraska.
We honor his service.
Memorial Day Awareness
This month, the VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry the Load, a nonprofit organization that connects Americans to the sacrifices made daily by the U.S. military, Veterans, first responders and their families to commemorate the “Memorial May” awareness campaign. The VA will share the stories of service members and Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in “Veteran of the Day” posts leading up to Memorial Day 2019.
Editor: Geoffrey Townsley
Fact checker: Jordan Gossett
Graphic design: Alexandra Craig