Bob Meder was born on August 23, 1917, in Cleveland, Ohio. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Corps on November 22, 1940, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on July 12, 1941. His first assignment was as a B-25 Mitchell pilot with the 95th Bomb Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group at Pendleton Army Airfield, Oregon, from July 1941 until he was selected for the Doolittle Mission in February 1942. During this time, he and his squadron flew anti-submarine patrols off the West Coast of the United States. Lt Meder was the co-pilot on the sixth B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) on April 18, 1942, and after bombing targets in Tokyo, his crew flew to China and ditched the plane off the coast and then swam to shore. He was captured by the Japanese on April 27, 1942, and died from beri-beri and dysentery at the Shanghai War Prisoners Camp in Shanghai, China, on December 11, 1943. After the war his remains were located and he was reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery on January 17, 1949.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary achievement while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on April 18, 1942. 1st Lieutenant Meder volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on Lieutenant Meder and the military service.