MIA for 75 years, but not forgotten

Grandson of Edmonds pioneers to be honored at Memorial Day ceremony
By Betty Lou Gaeng | May 25, 2019
Courtesy of: Betty Lou Gaeng 2nd Lt. Samuel Yost, missing in action for 75 years, will be honored on Memorial Day in Edmonds.

An Edmonds native and grandson of city pioneers will be honored when the City of Edmonds has its annual Memorial Day celebration Monday at the Edmonds Cemetery.

This year, the program will be dedicated to the MIAs and POWs of all wars. And during the annual White Table Ceremony, 17 local residents will be honored with a special tribute.

One of the MIAs to be remembered is 2nd Lt. Melvin Samuel Yost, missing in action since Sept. 12, 1944.

Yost was born in Edmonds Dec. 23, 1917, the son of Agnes (Anderson) Yost (1894-1992) and Samuel Allen Yost (1892-1966). He was a grandson of Edmonds pioneers Allen and Amanda Yost.

A student at Edmonds Grade School and Edmonds High School, Melvin Yost graduated with the class of 1934. He attended the University of Illinois, receiving a degree in liberal arts and sciences in 1939. He was a member of the Hughes Memorial Methodist Church and Edmonds Chapter, Order of DeMolay.

In 1941, he married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Lee Crow, a woman from another well-known Edmonds family. Prior to entering military service during WWII, he worked for the Suburban Transportation System in Seattle, a Yost family owned business.

Lt. Yost enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) in October 1942. He received his pre-flight training at Santa Ana Army Air Base, and pilot training at Oxnard and Chico, California. After further training at the Western Flying Training Command at Luke Field in Phoenix, he received his Army Air Forces Silver Wings and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Forces Reserve in April 1944.

His wife and mother attended Lt. Yost’s graduation ceremony. Receiving a 10-day furlough before assignment, Yost returned to his home in Edmonds with his wife and mother. After furlough, he received overseas orders for the Central Pacific area, where he was assigned to the WWII Headquarters of the VII Fighter Command, U.S. Army Air Forces.

According to the Sept. 28, 1944, issue of the Edmonds Tribune-Review, his family received notice from the Secretary of War that 2nd Lt. Yost’s P-51 Mustang had crashed Sept. 12, 1944, in the central Pacific area, and he had been listed as missing in action.

Yost was survived by his wife Dorothy, his mother, father, and a sister, Mrs. Marvene McGinness, all residents of Edmonds.

On Oct. 5, 1944, the auditorium of the Hughes Memorial Methodist Church was filled to capacity as relatives and friends gathered to remember the 26-year-old Edmonds native.

In addition to a memorial stone at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery, Lt. Yost is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial in Honolulu.


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