Home ยป Veterans

Melvin Joseph Killian

Melvin Joseph Killian
U.S. Air Force
Colonel [O-6]
Melvin Killian grew up in Council Bluffs. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 while still in high school and was called up in 1942. He trained as a pilot and was sent to the 2nd Air Commando squadron in the China, Burma, India theater in 1945 as the war was ending. He made the Air Force his career and in 1965 was with the 334 Tactical Fighter Squadron based in Takhli Royal Thai Air Base. On September 30th, 1965 Colonel Killian led a flight of F-105 Thunderjets against a target in North Vietnam. After flying observation cover for the bombing run, his plane was hit by a SA-2 missile as he was leaving the area. His body was not located at the crash site. In March 1985 a POW/MIA recovery team located and positively identified his remains. He was married with nine children. His remains were buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
City of EntryCouncil Bluffs
Conflict/Time PeriodVietnam War
Service Location
Separation StatusMissing in Action (MIA)
Specific Jobs