Hammond Advertiser - Thursday Feb 3, 1944 Mr. and Mrs. Horace Colburn received a telegram last Wednesday from the War Department advising them their son, S/Sgt Perley Colburn had been listed as missing in action since Jan 11, during a flight over the German area. Sgt Colburn is the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Colburn and had been overseas about six months. Another son, Pfc Byron Colburn is in the Army in New Guinea. Sgt Colburn was connected with the Air Forces and had written his parents recently that he had taken part in numerous raids over enemy territory. This is the first occurrence of this kind that the town of Macomb has suffered since the outbreak of the war.
Gouverneur Free Press: April 1944 Posthumous Award of Purple Heart to SS Perley Colburn Last week Tuesday, teh war department advised Mr. and Mrs. Horace Colburn, Pope Mills, that the order of the purple heart had been awarded posthumously to S/S Perley Colburn, 22, killed in action over Germany January 11, 1944.
S/S Colburn was inducted into the army Sept 30, 1942 at Camp Upton, L.I. and graduated later from gunnery school at Ft. Myers, Fla. He was given advanced training at Western camps before being shipped overseas. At the time he entered the service he was employed at the Alello Bros milk plant in Heuvelton.
Col. Milard Hq Army Air Base, Rome, NY called on Mr. and Mrs. Horace Colburn of Rossie Sunday, April 16, and presented them with the Air Medal in recognition of their son's bravery, coolness, great courage and untiring energy on his five separate missions over enemy territory.
On his supposedly fifth mission of January 11, 1944, Staff Sgt Colburn was reported missing in action and later reported to have been killed in action.
On Wednesday April 19, the parents received the Order of the Purple Heart with the message that their son died of wounds.
While attending flexible gunnery school at Fort Myers, Fla, Sgt Colburn sent a poem to his sister. Her brother was a gunner as well as mechanical and bombardier aboard a Flying Fortress. The Verse follows:
I wish to be a pilot And you along with me. But if we all were pilots, Where would the Air Force Be? It takes guts to be a gunner To sit out in the tail When the Messerschmitts are coming And the slugs begin to wail The pilot's just a chauffeur Its his job to fly the plane But it's we who do the fighting Though we may not get the fame. If we all must be gunners Then let us make this bet We'll be the best damned gunners Who have left this station yet.