Staff Sergeant Medlin was a crew member aboard U.S. Army Air Corps B-17F Flying Fortress #42-30260, serving with the 385th Bomb Group, 548th Bomb Squadron.

While on a training flight out of Lewiston Army Airfield, the bomber experienced severe turbulence at 15,000 feet and an engine caught fire. Pilot, Lt. Roy Thompson ordered a bailout, but only one crew member escaped in time before the B-17 crashed, four miles south of West Yellowstone, Montana.

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