In Loving Memory
May 31, 1923 – January 26, 2014
Point Clear, AL
Charles T. Meacham (Charley), aged 90, died Sunday, January 26 at Point Clear, Alabama. He was born in Heron, Illinois on May 31, 1923, but grew up in Tuscaloosa. He was the son of the late Charles Hudson and Lois Acker Meacham. He attended Auburn University for a short time before moving to Mobile where he took a job at Brookley Field, a job that began his life long love of aircraft and aircraft engines. In 1942, at the age of 19, he joined the Army Air Force and after training in Nebraska, he served as the engineer-gunner on a B 24 Liberator first stationed in the North African Theater of War. In 1943, his crew was assigned to the newly formed Heavy Bomber Unit of the Fifteenth Air Force stationed in Foggia, Italy. After flying bombing missions over Italy, France, Germany, and Romania his liberator was shot down over the River Danube in June, 1944. Badly wounded, he spent the next four months in a prison of war camp in Bucharest, Romania. On September 1,1944, after Romania capitulated to the Allied forces, he and 1,112 other prisoners were rescued and returned to their base in Italy. Upon his arrival in Italy, he was personally greeted and commended by Major General Nathan Twining and awarded the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Presidential Citation, and ribbons for service in the American and Italian Theaters. Some years later he received a Prisoner of War Medal and a letter stating that he had been awarded the Silver Star. After he was repatriated, he returned to Brookley Field where he supervised the flight line. After Brookley closed, he took a position as engineer in the research and development division of aircraft engines at Teledyne Continental. He was married for more than 50 years to the late Mary Helen Sumerlin Meacham.
He is lovingly remembered and honored by his siblings: Don, James Terry, and Frances and by his many nieces and nephews. He will be sorely missed by his daughter Virginia Meacham Gould, his son Howard Wayne Meacham, his four grandsons: Marcus, Mitchell (Daisy), Jeremy (Erin), and Grahame (Jasmine) and three great grandchildren: Rosemary, Cyrus, and Atticus. During the last years of his life, he was lovingly cared for by Demetria Burgess, Yolanda Wilson, Darlene Bell, Sadiyaa Azeez, Allyson Dale, and Christiana Thomas. They held a special place in his heart.
Graveside services, with military honors, will be held at 11am Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Confederate Rest Cemetery in Point Clear. In the event of rain, services will be held at the home of Virginia Meacham Gould. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, One Intrepid Square West 46th Street and 12th Avenue,
New York, New York 10036 or St. Francis at the Point, 17280 Scenic Highway 98, Point Clear, AL 36564. Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at hughesfh.com. Arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home & Crematory, 7951 American Way, Daphne, AL.