Flying Officer Melsom Henry Walter Gee, J18681
Royal Canadian Air Force
Flying Officer Gee is sponsored by the City of Winnipeg.
Flying Officer Gee était parrainé par City of Winnipeg.
I am proud to pay tribute to the memory of the 16 Winnipeg soldiers killed in action during the assault on the beachs of Normandy on June 6, 1944. These young men, representing a number of different regiments, gave their lives fighting for freedom. It is right and fitting to remember their sacrifice. I commend the Juno Beach Centre for its committment to creating a striking visual memorial during the 70th anniversary of D-Day. These markers remind us of each individual sacrifice, as well as the gravity of Canada’s loss.
– Mayor Sam Katz, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Birth place and date: Melsom was born in Winnipeg, MB on 5 May 1921.
Home town: Melsom grew up in Winnipeg, MB.
Religion: Melsom was a member of the Church of England.
Occupation: Before the war, Melsom was a student at the Kelvin Technical School.
Marital Status: Melsom was never married or had any children.
Next of kin: Melsom’s next of kin was his father, Fred Melsom Edward Gee.
Date and location of enlistment: Melsom enlisted on 19 February 1941 in Winnipeg, MB.
Medals: Melsom was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star and Clasp, War Medal 1939-1945, and Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. He was also posthumously awarded RCAF operational wings in recognition of his gallant service.
Burial location: Melsom is buried at the Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery. He was 21 years old when he died.
Student’s final reflection:
Melsom had eight siblings: Jonh, Arthur, Edgar, Robert, David, Donaldson, Gladys, and Mary. He liked to play baseball, hockey, football and rugby with his brothers.
On Melsom’s final days, one of his brothers reported, “He and four others were strafing armour south of Caen on D-Day. They were jumped by 12 messerschmitts and a dogfight ensued. He radioed the Squadron Leader saying “am heading south to draw them off so break for home.” He crashed in a orchard and was buried in French peasants. We “missing” for 15 months until War Graves Commission caught up. A survivor visited my parents at war’s end. Brought his logbook and personal effects. He stated that none of the four who reached base would have survived without his sacrifice”(4 September 1997).
Words will never show the gratitude people have for Melsom. Thank you.
Witten by: Katelyn, a student at Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.
Rédigé par:Katelyn, un élève de Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.
REMEMBER TODAY, REMEMBER ALWAYS.
THIS TRIBUTE PROFILE CONTAINS AVAILABLE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON ONE OF THE CANADIANS WHO DIED ON JUNO BEACH ON 6 JUNE 1944. THE PROFILE ALSO RECOGNIZES THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION WHO GENEROUSLY SPONSORED THIS SOLDIER, AND INCLUDES A MESSAGE OF THANKS AND REMEMBRANCE FOR THEIR SACRIFICE. THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE SOLDIER’S NATIVE TONGUE AND HAS BEEN COMPILED BY THE LEST WE FORGET PROGRAM AND, IN SOME CASES, THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED WITH THE SOLDIERS. DUE TO THE INCONSISTENCY OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND THE SPARSE AVAILABILITY OF FIRST-HAND WITNESSES, WE KNOW MORE ABOUT SOME THAN OTHERS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE ANY MATERIAL OR HELP IN OUR EFFORTS TO PRESENT THE BIOGRAPHIES IN BOTH FRENCH AND ENGLISH, PLEASE CONTACT: JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.