The story of Dan W. Means

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan W Means was born on the 18th of January 1922 in McLouth, Kansas.

Dan was the third son born to Nellie May Woodhead and Alvin Means.  Alvin Means was born November 20, 1885 and died April 12, 1954. Nellie was born February 1, 1889 and died June 14, 1982. They were married in McLouth, Kansas on the 5th of February 1908.

He had two brothers Arthur, born June 21, 1910, died of meningitis April 9, 1918.  Robert Alvin Means born April 27, 1919 and died December 7, 1983.

  

The baby is Dan at age 4 months; it says he weighed 18 pounds.

 

He grew up in the little town of McLouth, Kansas where many of his family still live

 

This photo shows Dan and his brother
 with their pet rabbits. Dan is on the right. This was in
their backyard.

 

 

This picture is the two boys on their horse
"Brownie". Dan is on the back, he would be about the age of 4 years.

 

He did 4 years of high school.

 

 

The is a picture of Dan when he was in high school in McLouth, Kansas.

 

He was a very good athlete and played baseball and football. The
sweater has a "Letter M" on it; this was given for being on the
team.

 

 

Dan also worked at a gas station in McLouth from age 16 to 18.

 

The next attachment shows Dan went to California when he was 18 to take a course in building airplanes.  It is so neat to see his thumb print and his height and weight all recorded.

 

 

He has received his flight training at Greenville, Texas.

This was at the Majors Army Air Field, he was in class 44A.

Next is a picture of the schoolbook of class 44A and a picture of Dan W Means in the book.

 

Dan never married; Dan was only 22 years old when he was killed in 1944.  So young. 

.  He started flying when he was only 16 and was thrilled to fly the B-24s.  His service did not last long.  The family has a letter that he wrote home just before he was killed.  He said the missions were so dangerous he knew he would not be coming home.

 

Dan and his
mother, Nellie Means (my grandmother). She missed him so much but
she was always very brave.

 

  

This is what the niece, Mindy, told us about Dan and why he didnít returned to the United States of America.

 

I think people might wonder why the family did not have Dan's body returned to the States.  This was my father's decision, Dan's older brother. My Dad was a soldier fighting in France and Germany at the time Dan was killed.  He knew how much confusion there was and he told his parents it would be best to let Dan remain overseas. To let him Rest in Peace, near where he had fallen. They did not regret this, even though he was so far from home.  They knew he would be honoured there and they did not forget him over here. 

 

 

Dan's parents had a stone made with his name and their names.  Every year on Memorial Day an American Flag and flowers are placed on his Kansas stone.  It made them feel closer to him.  When I was young, the other soldiers from WWII would dress in their uniforms on that day and they would take their rifles and fire 21 shots into the air to honour the men who did not return.  Then the song Taps would be played on a trumpet.  It was very moving. Now in this tiny Kansas town there are no Vets left to do this but the flags and flowers will always be

 

 

There is a headstone in the Mclouth cemetery for Dan.

His name is engraved on the marker between his parents names.

Since I live nearby I am able to visit the cemetery every May on Memorial Day. The local veteran's group always makes sure all the young men who died in WW 2 have flags on there graves for this holiday and then I add additional flowers from my garden. But it has always been sad knowing he was not really buried there and we were not able to honour his actual final resting place. Thank you for taking on this responsibility for our family!

This was written by his other niece, Marty.

 

Families who are grieving for their loved ones.  Even after all these years the pain is still there.  We think about the life Dan and the others would have had.  How their deaths changed their families and friends forever.  It is very moving. 

Then the report of the 2nd of October 1944.

On October 2, 1944, the airplane, a B-24 H Serial 42-95104 where he was in, was shot down, by an enemy airplane. The nr 1 and 2 engines were on fire. There are only 3 parachutes seen before the plane crashed, two crew members were captured and the other 7 crew members were killed in the crash.
They are buried on the day after a Catholic cemetery in Berge, in Hamm, Germany, nearby where the plane had crashed.

Later they were reburied at the American War Cemetery Ardennes in Belgium where they have their last resting place.

 

 

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