Full Name: MELVIN JOSEPH KILLIAN
Date of Birth: 1/31/1922
Date of Casualty: 9/30/1965
Home of Record: COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA
Branch of Service: AIR FORCE
Casualty Country: NORTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: NZ
Name: Melvin Joseph Killian
Branch/Rank: United States Air Force/O4
Date of Birth: 31 January 1922
Home City of Record: COUNCIL BLUFFS IOWA
Date of Loss: 30 September 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 201000 North 1060100 East
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D #0117
Other Personnel in Incident:
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File.
REMAINS RECOVERED 03/20/85
[Buried at Arlington with wife who died ca 1976]
No further information available at this time.
CITATION FOR AWARD OF THE
AIR FORCE CROSS
*KILLIAN, MELVIN JOSEPH
( MISSING IN ACTION )
United States Air Force
334th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Takhli Royal Thai Air Base
Date of Action: 30 September 1965
The Air Force Cross is presented to Melvin Joseph Killian, Colonel, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force over North Vietnam on 30 September 1965.
On that date, Colonel Killian led a flight of F-105 aircraft against a highly significant military target. Colonel Killian proceeded on an unerring course to the target area. Arriving ahead of the main flight, he began an aerial survey of the area in order to give final navigational assistance to the incoming flight. Although subjected to intensive hostile ground fire, Colonel Killian flew his aircraft over the gun emplacements while giving encouragement and directions as each pilot braved the withering ground fire. His overwhelming desire for successful mission completion, and his concern for the safety of each pilot forced him to disregard his own personal safety while continuously flying within range of the ground fire.
His outstanding dedication to duty, superior initiative, and mission performance resulted in the destruction of numerous hostile ground positions of vital significance to the Viet Cong. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Colonel Killian reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Colonel Killian was our Commanding Officer.
I have thought of him often and learned that his remains were recovered and returned home in 1985. I visited his grave in Arlington Cemetery where he lies beside his wife and 2 sons. I just want you to know that you are not forgotten.
NOTE: Then-Major Killian was shot down over North Vietnam on 30 September 1965 while flying an F-105D Thunderchief.
A memorial from his comrade in arms, Kenneth Hansford
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard