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Funeral services for Merlin J. Tindal, age 79, of Austin, were held March 29, 2004, at Holy Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church in Rochester, with Father Nicholas Kasemeotes officiating.

Interment was at Calvary Cemetery in Austin, with graveside military rites by American Legion Post #91, and V.F.W. Post 1216. Arrangements were by Mayer Funeral Home.

Merlin was born in Austin on Dec. 14, 1924, to Samuel Sr. and Anna (Weiss) Tindal.

He grew up in Austin, and began working for the George A. Hormel Co. on Aug. 18, 1942. At age 18, he joined the U.S. Army and took his basic training at Camp Roberts, Calif. After basic training he became a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division.

During the invasion of Normandy, he was captured and taken prisoner by the German Army at Lusan, France on June 26, 1944.

He was held prisoner of war in three different camps: Starvation Hill, Stalag 4-F and Stalag 4-B. He was a prisoner of war for 11 months and one day, and was released on May 8, 1945. He was sent to Camp McCoy, Wis., where he received his honorable discharge from the service on Jan. 6, 1946.

He returned to Austin, and resumed working at the Hormel Plant. He continued working there and retired after 41 years of employment.

On May 29, 1964, he married Diana Lourias, at Holy Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church in Rochester. She preceded him in death in 1991.

Merlin passed away Mar. 25, 2004, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He died at the home of his niece, Mrs. Arta Margellos, in Richfield, Minn.

Merlin was a kind, loving, generous person who will be greatly missed by his family and all that knew him.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; one brother, Stanley Tindal; two sisters, Lila Tindal and Annaline Goodemann.

He is survived by four brothers, Gene (Carol) Tindal, Sam Jr. (Audrey) Tindal, all of Brownsdale, Minn.; Bruce (Anna) Tindal of Whittier, Calif.; Clifford (Carolyn) Tindal of Austin, Minn.; several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Blessed be his memory.

Merlin J Tindal [was] the son of Samuel C and Anna O (Weiss) Tindal.

A member of the 82nd Airborne that went into France on D-Day. He was captured by the Germans. From June 6th, 1944, to May 8th 1945, he was a prisoner. He recalls his group of prisoners being stoned by the people in Paris and he could tell that they were being forced to do so by German S.S. Troops.

 In prison he worked 72 hours a week, at first at odd jobs like filling bomb craters, but for the last six months in a saw mill. Merlin also recalls that the meals were mainly rutabagas, dark bread and potatoes. He weighed 170 when he was captured and 120 when he was released.

Merlin was married to his first wife, Doris D More, on October 25, 1947. That marriage ended in 1962. There are no children from the marriage. Merlin married again in 1964 to a Greek girl, the "love of his life", Diana Lourias. They had no children, but they helped in raising five of Diana's brothers children, who now live in Dallas Texas. Merlin retired from Hormel in Austin Minnesota on March 1, 1984 after 41 1/2 years at the Company. His wife "Diana" Passed on in 1991 at age 65. Merlin has provided a lot of information for our family tree.

- Shelly Tindal



Merlin J. Tindal participated in the jump intro Normandy on D-Day, June 5, 1944.  He was  captured by the Germans and reported in the National Archives (NARA) to have been a POW as early as June 6, 1944.

NARA records further indicate that he was liberated from Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13 which is consistent with remarks in his obituary.

Note that his obituary (at left) states that the date of capture was June 26, 1944, the "26" may have been a typo instead of "6".  Note also that in his daughter's writing (above) she states that he was a prisoner "from June 6th, 1944, to May 8th 1945".

That date of release is most probably correct as on 12 June 1945, Pvt Marlin J. Tindal arrived in New York City Harbor aboard the USS Admiral W. S. Benson (see line 71).