- The Washington Times - Friday, May 27, 2016

A World War II veteran returned to England at 94 for a “final mission” and then quietly died upon its completion.

Melvin Rector, 94, a B-17 Flying Fortress radio operator and gunner, passed away May 6 during a trip to RAF Uxbridge in London. The veteran traveled from Barefoot Bay, Florida, to the Battle of Britain bunker after six months of planning.

“He couldn’t wait to go,” said Mr. Rector’s stepdaughter Darlene O’Donnell, Florida Today reported Wednesday.

Mr. Rector served as a master sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps with the 96th Bomb Group in 1945. He flew eight combat missions over Germany while deployed to the British command center.

Susan Jowers, who joined Mr. Rector on the trip, told Florida Today that he felt dizzy soon after reaching his objective.

“He walked out of that bunker like his tour was done,” Ms. Jowers said. “He completed his final mission.”

The veterans trip was organized by the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. It was his first time back to the country in 71 years.

Funeral services for Mr. Rector will be held at the First Baptist Church of Barefoot Bay on June 9.



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