this introduction are:
The telegram that Mrs Melba Margaret McNeill received on 25 April
The Memorial Certificate from the American Battle Monuments Commission
Sgt McNeill's name within the Courts of the Missing
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
The 1st Lt Edward G Law Crew photo
As you browse through these pages you will encounter names of Sgt
McNeill's family as well as
those of his wife Melba Margaret Culbreth.
This time line may assist you in keeping dates and people straight.
Michael James Krehl's contributions have made it possible for me to
add a personal element
to honor his Grandfather Sgt Leonard James McNeill.
This can be found in the Leonard
and Melba section.
Leonard James McNeill was born in Fairview, Prince Edward Island,
Canada, on 3 November 1917.
His parents moved to the United States in 1926 and settled in Somerville,
They were there until at least 1948 which is the last year covered
in these pages.
Their three homes were within a few miles of Tufts University, Harvard
University, and MIT.
Following graduation from Somerville High School in 1936,
Sgt McNeill worked for a few years.
Likely in early 1938 he travelled to Orlando Florida and
met his future wife Melba.
They were married in Somerville in August 1938
and then moved back to her home town of Orlando.
He registered for the draft in 1940 and was inducted in November
The Stations section has
information about where he was located during his time in the USAAF.
By October 1944 he was at Pyote AAF, Texas, and
this is where he became a member of the 1st Lt Edward G Law crew.
They were a replacement crew and arrived on Saipan
around the middle of February 1945.
Their first combat mission took place early March 1945.
Their B-29, Botteled in Blonde, was shot down over Tokyo 2 April 1945.
Lt Law died in crash and the others survived.
All 10 were taken to Tokyo Kempei Tai Headquarters.
Ray Hopper was released and sent to Omori POW Camp
while the other nine men were transferred to the Tokyo Military Prison.
Some of these details are found in letters that Sgt Ray Hopper
wrote to the crew's family members. These are found in the Letters
area of Leonard and Melba.
All nine men died in the Tokyo Fire Raid the night of 25-26 May 1945.
Three of the remains were identified, but Sgt McNeill was not one
His status remains:
In Action - Remains Not Recoverable
grandson, Michael James Krehl,
is on a quest to have eight of the 37 men who died in the
Tokyo Military Prison Fire and whose status
Honoring Irvin's Memory
is at THE 55 Main page
My thanks go out to the following for their help:
500th Bomb Group Memorial Association
The staff at the St Louis National Archives
Mansell Pacific POW Database