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.
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
This picture is the two boys
on their horse
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
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
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.
Later they were reburied at the American War Cemetery Ardennes in Belgium
where they have their last resting place.