Hamilton County


Lt. Melvin H. Middents





(Second Lt. Melvin H. Middents, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Middents of Kamrar, is a crew member aboard the “Fleet Admiral Nimitz”—B29 mentioned in the following special feature furnished the Freeman-Journal by the 21st Bomber Command’s public relations office.)

A B29 BASE ON GUAM—The five-star flag of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz which has so long harassed the Jap by sea is now flying high over Tokyo, borne there by a giant new B29 named for the navy’s top Pacific chief

“Thirty seconds over Tokyo?” The ‘Fleet Admiral Nimitz’ kept the empire awake for an hour and forty minutes!” the plane’s commander, Colonel Boyd Hubbard Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo., said on his return from the Superfort’s maiden flight.

A Grand Tour

As part of a 21st bomber command night strike, the B29’s first trip turned into a grand tour of the Jap homeland’s heart, and forced the lights of many of Nippon’s great cities to turn off one by one. Crew members grin and say nothing when asked why it took so long to return to the target run on their back-search for a navigational check-point missed on the first approach.

With flak strangely absent, and with enemy fighters evidently caught napping, the crew had a leisurely look around. They literally made a Cooke’s tour over Mount Fujiyama, Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya.

Lights Went Out

“Far ahead, we would see the glow of lights,” the colonel added in describing their flight. “Then, just as though we could throw a shadow out in front of the plane, they would blot out one by one.”

Back in the groove on their second approach, the crew had the satisfaction of watching their bomb flashes mushroom into new fires, adding to the blaze already there.

The “Fleet Admiral Nimitz” honoring the navy’s role in securing bases from which the enemy homeland can be hammered by air, was presented by Army Air Force General H.H. Arnold during his recent Pacific tour. Each crew member carries the personal “good hunting” wishes of the admiral and of General Arnold.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - July 21, 1945

Melvin H. Middents was born Dec. 3, 1923 to Henry John and Rickie Hassebrock Middents. He died Mar. 15, 2002 and is buried in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Kamrar, IA.

Lt. Middents served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as a crew member aboard the B-29 “Fleet Admiral Nimitz”, 501st Bombardment Group.

His Obituary: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Mar. 15, 2002

Melvin H. Middents, 78, Bellingham, Wash., and Rio Verde, Ariz., died March 15, 2002 at Rio Verde, Ariz. A memorial service will be held Thursday at the Rio Verde Community Church, Rio Verde, Ariz., at 3 p.m. Memorial contributions may be given to the Rio Verde Community Church of Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa, Ariz.

Melvin H. Middents was born Dec. 3, 1923 in Kamrar. He served in the U.S. Air Corps and was a World War II veteran. Prior to retirement, Mr. Middents was the senior vice president of Cargill, Inc. He was a member of and president of the board of trustees of Rio Verde Community Church and was past president of the National Grain and Feed Association.

Survivors are his wife, Berdella A. Middents, Rio Verde, Ariz., daughters, Peggy L. (Paul) Pettit, Aberdeen, S.D., Cynthia (Michael) Middents-Valliere, Lake Forest, Ill., a brother, Dr. Gerald (Carol) J. Middents, Dallas, Texas, a sister, Marjorie (Dale) Rickard of Cedar Falls, Iowa; 4 grandchildren, Brooks and Megan Pettit, and Jessica and Joshua Valliere.

Source: ancestry.com