CHEYENNE, Wyo. Howard M. Mellblom, 83, of Cheyenne, Wyo., died Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006, in Cheyenne.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Howard was born Feb. 2, 1923, in Havre to Victor and Thora (Kittelsrud) Mellblom. He attended Northern Montana College in Havre and in 1942 enlisted in the Naval Air Cadet program earning his wings in 1944. He was assigned to fighter training and flew as a member of the Hellcat Squadron VF 151. After World War II, Howard returned to Havre and volunteered for active duty during the Korean War. He served aboard the Valley Forge aircraft carrier flying with Corsair Squadron VF 92. He was awarded four Air Medals for 42 combat missions, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the National Defense Medal, with three Bronze Stars, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation Medal. He remained on continuous active duty as aircraft maintenance officer at Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas; NAS Seattle, Wash.; NAS South Weymouth, Mass.; and NAS Los Alamitos, Calif. He reported to the Naval Reserve Center in Cheyenne in June 1966 for his final assignment as commanding officer of the center. He retired with the rank of commander on July 1, 1970. During his tour of duty in Cheyenne, he commissioned the Naval Reserve CB Division and started the annual Navy Ball in 1971. After retirement he was an agent for Bankers Life and Casualty Co. From 1970 to 1985. He was a member of F.E. Warren Daedalian Flight No. 54, the Reserve Officers Association, the Military Association and life member of VFW 1881. He was a member of Ascension Lutheran Church. Howard married Vanelda Novak on March 24, 1945, in Washington, D.C. His sons both retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of commander. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Victor Mellblom Jr. And Neil Mellblom. Survivors include his children, Barbara McCulloch, an artist and art instructor of Fort Collins, Colo., Frank Mellblom, an optometrist in Prescott, Ariz., and Mark Mellblom, an information officer and computer specialist in Virginia Beach, Va.; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and sister, Barbara Montgomery of Bemidji, Minn. Arrangements are under the direction of Schrader Funeral Home.