Merle B. Humble - LST 507

Tech/5 Merle B. Humble - U. S. Army
478th Amphibious Truck Co.

Circle Hill Cemetery in Punxsutawney, PA. 

Brief History of Merle Blaine Humble by Emily Oien, his Great Niece

Merle Blaine Humble was born on January 11, 1918, to Minnie Helen Stahlman Humble and Irvin L. Humble.  Blaine, as he was called by his family, was the youngest of 7 children.  There were 5 boys and 2 girls in the family.  The family lived on a farm near Grange, Pennsylvania. Tragically, he was only a baby when his father, Irvin, died of a heart attack.  Minnie remarried and had two more children, a boy and a girl.

Blaine attended a one-room school house near the family farm.  He could have attended Punxsutawney High School, but if he attended or the year of his graduation is unknown. 

On October 15, 1941, Blaine enlisted in the US Army.  He was 23 years old. He was part of the 361st Quartermaster Battalion, that was later designated as the 478th Amphibious Truck Company in February 1944.  The 478th worked with the infamous “Duck boats” or DUC amphibious vehicles.   

 On the early morning of April 28, 1944, 26 year-old Blaine was onboard LST 507 when it was torpedoed and sunk by a German E-boat.  His family received word that Blaine was killed-in-action but knew nothing of what had happened to him.  

Blaine Humble’s body is buried in the Circle Hill Cemetery in Punxsutawney, PA.  

Sometime around 1980, some men who worked with Blaine found his sister, Beulah Humble Rugh . These men told Beulah that they were not allowed to talk about what happened but they wanted her to know that the way he died was drowning. 

It wasn’t until about 2016 when family members discovered information about the ill-fated D-Day rehearsal, Operation Tiger, and realized that he had lost his life because of it.  Sadly, his mother, brothers, and sisters were all gone, without ever knowing what had happened to him.