Merle Lloyd Pickup | News, Sports, Jobs

May 11, 1917 – May 25, 1944

On Saturday, December 17, 2022, seventy-eight years after his death, Merle Lloyd Pickup will be laid to rest in the Provo City Cemetery. His headstone there will no longer read, “Lost in action in China.”

Merle Lloyd Pickup (Mose) was born on May 11, 1917, to Clarence Ray and Celestia Vilate Batty Pickup on a farm southeast of Vernal, Utah. Moses was the youngest of six children. From the time he was two, Moses had pneumonia for seven consecutive winters. He eventually outgrew his susceptibility to illnesses and grew up strong and tall and full of life.

Moses graduated from Uintah Academy in 1937. Soon after his graduation, his father and mother, who were struggling to make ends meet during the Great Depression, left their farm, and joined their four married daughters and a son in Provo.

Mose reported for duty for World War II with the United States Army in September of 1942. He served in the 308th Bombardment Group, which was assigned to fly supplies over “the Hump” from India into China. On May 25, 1944, Moses joined a flight from his base in China that was destined for the US base in India. Approximately 30 minutes before landing, the plane lost radio contact and crashed in the Himalaya Mountains. His parents received the news that he was missing in action by telegram on June 3. After two unsuccessful attempts to reach the reported crash site in March and November 1947, the Army determined that reaching the crash site was too dangerous and the remains of the crew were declared non-recoverable.

The Pickup Family was recently notified that remains of Moses were recovered on July 20, 2022 and will be returned to Utah on December 15, 2022. A graveside service with full military honors will be held at the Provo City Cemetery on Saturday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m

Moses was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Grace (Don) McConkie, Helen (Clint) Erekson, Georgia Rae (George) Bills, Alberta (Ray) Corless, and Clair Batty (Darlene) Pickup; and several nephews and nieces. He is survived by seven nieces and nephews and many grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank the United States Army who persisted so long with the notion that young men and women sent to was deserved to be brought home, no matter how many years had passed. A special thanks to Clayton Kuhles and MIA Recoveries.

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