Meddie Brouillette was born on July 25 1922 in Fowler, Benton County, Indiana. His father was Louis Phillip Brouillette (11/13/1895 - 1/15/1984). His mother was Agnes Sego (6/9/1896 - 4/8/1976). They are buried at the Sacred Heart Cemetery, Benton County IN. The name of Meddie is on the headstone of his parents. The Brouillette family has roots in L'Acadie, Quebec Canada. They came to America in the late 1800's. Meddie went to school at Fowler Benton County and graduated in 1940.
Meddie enlisted at Fort Benjamin Harrison IN on the 11/11/1942. Meddie was enlisted in The Airforce and he completed his course of studies as an aviation mechanic at the AAF technical training school, Amarillo army air field, Amarillo, TX and was qualified to become a member of Flying Fortress crew. He was promoted to corporal and sent to Consolidated Vultee Air Craft school in San Diego. At Laredo, Texas he qualifled for Engineer and recieved his gunner wings. In the course of the thirteen months training in the US he was based in eight different States. Then he was stationed in Kentucky for advanced training in aerial gunnery and bombing. Meddie was then assigned to a permanent squadron at the army air base near Bruning, Nebraska. His original crew was the Clarence crew 9-1G-B in the 449th Bomb Group 719th Squadron. Because Meddie was a small person he was assigned to the function of ball turret gunner a very dangerous job, and first Engineer. The original B-24 on which Meddie was flying was the "SUPERMOUSE"; Delivered to Bruning 20-10-1943. Before the transfer overseas to Grottaglie Italy, Meddie visit his parents at Boswell IN and his beloved dog "Shep". On 1/15/44 this plane crashed at sea, 4 bailed out and became POW, 6 who remained in the ship were KIA. Tail #10; serial #41-28594. The 449th attacked the marshalling yard at Prato, Italy on 15 January 1944. Shortly after passing the Isle of Elba the B-24 lost the power on two engines, Only two options were open -- either bail out or attempt a ditching at sea. Evidently crew members were given a choice. Four crew members successfully bailed out, 2 became POW and 2 stayed with Italian farmers till Italy surrended. The six who chose to remain with the ship died in the ditching. Meddie Brouillette was replaced by S/Sgt Roger Edgar of the Thieme crew that mission and had luck together with another gunner Angelo Gervasi. He was then assigned to the "Sky Bandit" based in Grottaglie Italy. For his model behavior as a soldier he was authorized to wear the "Good Conduct Medal".
On the fatal fortieth mission to the Marshaling Yards of Bucharest , Meddie did replace a married man with 4 or 5 children on the Thieme Crew because it was a very dangerous mission. Meddie was single with no children so he volunteered to take his place. He was reported ‘missing in action’ for a year, before being reported as ‘killed in action’. Meddie did not make it to his 22th birthday, July of 1944. He successfully completed thirteen missions against enemy opposition over Germany and German occupied territories.
Meddie's mother Agnes Brouillette recieved posthumously the "Airmedal with one oak leave cluster" and the "Purple Heart" awards for his courage. Captain Emile I Hirsch presented the medal to Mrs Brouillette in a chapel Ceremony at Stout Field Indianapolis in 1945.
Meddie is buried in the Ardennes American Cemetery at Neuville-en-Condroz on Plot C, Row 12, Grave 32. He was survived by his parents, brother Marvin Joseph (fought on the Pacific scene), sisters Florence, Mary and Phyllis Brouillette. It was a great loss of a gentil and kind young man and he is honored in the Brouillette family to this days.
The grave of S/Sgt Meddie Brouillette, page on MACR 3978 the Telegram he was KIA.
His sister Florence was told:
" Mom and Dad received a letter from the government asking if they would like to have his remains shipped back for burial in Fowler, Indiana. My dad said an infactic “NO” He felt that they could not be sure it was Meddie or someone else’s remains andMother had gone through enough. Don’t open the wound up again. Mom and Dad have a tombstone in Fowler with Meddie’s name engraved. I do believe that a gravesite was purchased for him. Meddie has been and is with his fellow comrades and we do not wish to have his grave disturbed. There is no immediate family in Fowler. His sister, Phyllis, lives 100 miles away and I am in California. We have commemorated him at St. Francis Assisi School, Santa Clara De Asis Catholic Church and Mary has an endowment fund in his memory at the Catholic Cathedral Preparatory School in San Francisco. We have and do honor and revere him in our own ways. He will always be in our hearts and we are so blessed to have him as our brother."
Ann Thieme Blankenship was telling :
I remember my mom telling me about Meddie. She said my dad really liked him. I think he was from French Canadian stock and was very funny.
Here collages of newspaperclips made by his family in memory of T/Sgt Meddie Brouillette, click in the image on the articles to read.
These are pictures that have been taken at Brunning Airfield, Nebraska in late 1943.
The first serie is in front of the B-24 "Supermouse" Delivered to Bruning 20 Oct. '43, assigned to Frone's crew. Tail #10; serial #41-28594. Crashed at sea 1/15/44 with Frone's crew aboard. Meddie was not on board. The Frone's crew was meddie's original crew. Also a pic of SGT Thomas Munley who died in the crash of "Supermouse", Tom's name is on the "Tablets of the Missing" at Florence American Cemetery near
Florence, Italy. Tom was gunner in the Frones crew.
This are pictures of the Frones crew and the B-24 "Dixie Belle"in Brunning, Nebraska. Delivered to Bruning 1 Nov. '43, assigned to Grimmer's crew. Downed 4/4/44 over Bucharest with Kendall's crew aboard. Tail #13; serial #41-29193.
Purple Heart Award,Citation of the President of the USA and others, official burial paper.
On February 26, 2010 Rudy Delwart and Emmanuel Papin visited Meddie's grave, they paid respect and put some flowers. This are the guys who adopted the grave of Meddie.
To be continued ...
Special thanks to Meddie's sister Florence for the photo's and information she friendly shared. Also thanks to Mike James for the photos of his great uncle SSGT Thomas Munley, who was in the original Frones crew together with Meddie.