“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lima in Allen County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Metzger Lake Reservoir

Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 22, 2021
1. Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker

City of Lima
public water supply
Metzger Lake

Constructed 1946
Capacity 1200000.000 gals

Named in memory of
Lt. William E. Metzger, Jr.

Killed in action over Germany
November 9, 1944
Congressional Medal of Honor

A memorial
to all veterans of World War II


William E. Metzger, Jr.
February 9, 1922 – November 9, 1944

Second Lieutenant Metzger's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant (Air Corps) William Edward Metzger, Jr. (ASN: 0-558834), United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 729th Bombardment Squadron, 452d Bombardment Group (H), Eighth Air Force. On a bombing run upon the marshaling yards at Saarbrucken, Germany, on 9 November 1944, a B-17 aircraft on which Second Lieutenant Metzger was serving as

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copilot was seriously damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Three of the aircraft's engines were damaged beyond control and on fire; dangerous flames from the No. 4 engine were leaping back as far as the tail assembly. Flares in the roared therein which was further cockpit were ignited and a fire increased by free-flowing fluid from damaged hydraulic lines. The inter- useless. In addition to these serious phone system was rendered engineer was wounded in the leg and the severed below the elbow. Suffering from mechanical difficulties the radio operator's arm was intense pain, despite the application of a tourniquet, the radio Faced with the imminent explosion of his operator fell unconscious. aircraft and death to his entire crew, mere seconds before bombs away on the target, Second Lieutenant Metzger and his pilot conferred. Something had to be done immediately to save radio operator. The lack of a the life of the wounded unconscious body striking the static line and the thought that his not bring immediate medical attention ground in unknown territory would forced a quick decision. Second Lieutenant Metzger and his pilot decided to fly the attempt to crash land. Bombs were released on the flaming aircraft to friendly territory and then to Allied-controlled territory. When that had been target and the crippled aircraft proceeded along reached Second
Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 22, 2021
2. Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker
Lieutenant Metzger personally informed all crew members to bail out upon the suggestion of the pilot. Second Lieutenant Metzger chose to remain with the pilot for the crash landing in order to assist him in this emergency. With only one normally functioning engine and with the danger of explosion much greater, the aircraft banked into an open field, and when it was at an altitude of 100 feet it exploded, crashed, exploded again, and then disintegrated. All three crewmembers were instantly killed. Second Lieutenant Metzger's loyalty to his crew, his determination to accomplish the task set forth to him, and his deed of knowingly performing what may have been his last service to his country was an example of valor at its highest.


William E. Metzger, Jr.
February 9, 1922 – November 9, 1944

"I will never leave a bomber with a wounded crewman on board.” Metzger was quoted by crew members prior to leaving for battle. He kept his promise.

Born and raised in Lima, Bill was the son of William and Ethel Metzger and had two sisters, Jeanne and Frances. He graduated from Lima Central High School in 1940 and worked for Lima Electric Motor Company before entering the service.

In a school report, Bill laid out a way of life that he followed through to the last second of his life, as he gave up two parachutes so others

Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 22, 2021
3. Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker
could live. Here's an excerpt from that composition.

A Little Philosophy

How shall I live? How shall I make the most of my life and put it to the best use? How shall I become a man and do a man's work? This and not politics or trade or war or pleasure is the question. The primary consideration is not how shall one get a living, but how shall he live; for if he lives rightly, whatever is needful he shall easily find.

The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest medal for valor in combat that can be awarded to members of the armed forces. Metzger was one of 36 members of the Army Air Forces to receive the Medal of Honor in WW2, of which 17 were awarded to the 8th Air Force assigned to bombing runs on enemy targets in France and Germany. To date, only 3,500 Recipients in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have been awarded this acknowledgement of extraordinary achievement in military service. There are two from Allen County.

"Lady Jeannette"
B-17G-35VE SN: 42-97904
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Metzger was the co-pilot of the "Lady Jeannette", and was hit by anti-aircraft artillery on a bombing run over Germany. He helped the pilot fly the plane to safe skies over France and helped the crew evacuate before crash landing. This is the last picture of the "Lady
Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 22, 2021
4. Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker
Erected 2019 by Eagle Scout Project by Jon P. Frueh, Jr.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, World IIWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients series list.
Location. 40° 44.707′ N, 84° 2.616′ W. Marker is in Lima, Ohio, in Allen County. Memorial is on Reservoir Road, 0.3 miles east of Metzger Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3214 Reservoir Rd, Lima OH 45801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Eastman Johnson's Maple Sugar Paintings (approx. 1.2 miles away); McLean Teady Bear Park (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Hog Creek Settlement (approx. 2.1 miles away); Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad Station from Uniopolis, Ohio (approx. 2.4 miles away); NKP Caboose No. 1091 (approx. 2.4 miles away); Nickel Plate Road Berkshire-Type Locomotive No. 779 (approx. 2.4 miles away); Lima Locomotive Works (approx. 2.4 miles away); Faurot Oil Well (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lima.
Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 22, 2021
5. Metzger Lake Reservoir Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on May 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 24, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 287 times since then and 130 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 24, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 3, 2023