Douglas Vernon Halter, 82, died of natural causes at Auburn Medical Center Friday, June 29, 2007.
Internment was at Tohoma National Cemetery with military honor gruard. Douglas was born Nov. 6, 1924, in Havre. He attended Havre schools and joined the army before graduating in Feb. 1943. He was assigned to Patton’s Third Army as a .50 caliber machine gunner on a half-track. He was stationed in England and was in the Normandy invasion. He volunteered to be in a reconnaissance company of 200 men who became known as Patton’s Ghosts. He was one of seven original men left when the war ended. He is credited with being the only one known to shoot down a German plane with one shot. Douglas was cleaning his gun when he heard a plane coming so he loaded it. When he saw the plane was German, he took aim and fired. The gun jammed, the plane went down, crashed and burned. Douglas’ battle campaigns were Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe. He was decorated with the Bronze Arrowhead, Good Conduct Medal and European African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medals. He was discharged Nov. 20, 1945. After his discharge he worked as a fireman on GNRY. He married Francis Melby in 1948. They moved to Alaska to run Dot Lake Lodge and worked for the Alaska Highway Department. Later they move to Auburn to be near their children. He is preceded in death by his parents, Winfred and Lillian Halter. He is survived by his wife, Frances of Auburn; son, Charles of Bonney Lake; daughters, Darla Pomber and Dolanda Rayner of Auburn; brothers, Jerry Halter of Polson and Charles Halter of Roseville, Calif.; sister, Noelle Darwin of Virginia City, Nev.; seven grandchildren and one greatgrandchild.