39th Bomb Group (VH)


Unit Citation
and Awards

arpuc.jpg [The Presidental Unit Citation]

Oak Leaf Cluster

Service Awards

apcm.jpg [The Asiatic-Pacfic Campaign Medal]


star1.gif [Bronze Star]

wwiivic.gif [The Victory Medal, World War II]

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S/Sgt Melbourne Faldet

Melbourne Oliver Faldet was born June 27, 1918, the third of the four children of Nels O. and Grace R. (Musser) Faldet of Canoe, Iowa (Pleasant Township of Winneshiek County).

He grew up in Canoe, where his parents ran the Canoe Store. He attended Pleasant Township School No. 7 and graduated from Decorah High School with the class of 1936.

Mel Faldet taught at Pleasant Township School No. 10 until he enlisted for service in 1942. After serving stateside for two years, he served overseas in Guam as part of the 39th Bomb Group, servicing B-29s of the 60th BS. He returned home after the war, in January 1946.

He married Virginia Baker June 14, 1946. To this union four children were born: Mary, Cynthia, David, and Mark; four grandchildren a great granddaughter.

Mel Faldet began his 37-year career with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company.

After living three years in Waverly, Iowa, the couple returned to Decorah.

The family had a 20-acre farm on Locust Road where Mel Faldet enjoyed gardening and the kind of outdoor work he knew as a child. He also enjoyed fishing, history, and genealogical work.

After retiring from the phone company in 1983 Mel Faldet purchased an acreage in Pleasant Township where he rebuilt a pioneer log cabin. He enjoyed dancing at the Highlandville School and other venues where his wife played the piano. He moved to the Aase Haugen Home in 2003.

Mel Faldet was an active and lifelong member of Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church, a congregation his grandparents helped found. He served many years on the board of the Decorah Public Library. He was instrumental in the campaigns to finance the library addition and to restore Winneshiek County's civil war memorial.

Melbourne “Mel” Faldet passed away Tuesday, June 28, 2005 at the Aase Haugen Home, in Decorah, after celebrating his 87th birthday with family and friends. Interment is at Canoe Ridge Lutheran Cemetery.

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Source: Obituary of Melbourne O. Faldet, Decorah Newspaper Published date: June 29, 2005; 39th Bomb Group Records.