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* * * Tribute: Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling, WWII Pilot MIA, by Gramma & DoN * * *
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Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 10:53am

Post #1 of 60 (4216 views)
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* * * Tribute: Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling, WWII Pilot MIA, by Gramma & DoN * * * Can't Post

 


Tribute to Lt. J.G. Robert E. Sterling



Bealocwealm hafað fréone frecan forth
onsended?giedd sculon singan
gléomenn sorgiende on Meduselde
þæt he ma no wære,
his dryhtne dyrest and mæga deorost

'An evil death has set forth the noble warrior
A song shall sing sorrowing minstrels in Meduseld…"
'that he is no more,
to his lord dearest and of kinsmen most beloved'
— sung by
Éowyn in The Two Towers







Grammaboodawg and Daughter of Nienna
Together pay Loving Tribute
to the memory of Lt.J.G. Robert Elmer Sterling
Gramma's Uncle and
a Guardian Angel
Who fell from the skies to his doom
Protecting the people and the nation that he loved



Grandma was widowed when Uncle Bob was 14. She raised 4 sons and 1 daughter alone since the beginning of the depression. She lost 2 of her 4 sons during WWII while the other two both served in the Marines. It helped Grandma when a fellow pilot who was with Bob during his last battle contacted her after the war and told her he saw Bob's plane dive through the enemy flack over and over, attacking the enemy ships. When the attack was broken off, he saw Bob pull out of his last dive and turn with the rest of the aircraft as they headed back to the American fleet. Bob's plane was shot up, yet he was still in control... but he and his navigator never made it back. It's unknown if the plane finally failed from multiple hits, if Bob succumbed to injuries, or if they ran out of fuel. It's sad, but we never knew what the navigator's name was. All we know is that he was from New Jersey. Their records were lost in a government office fire in St. Louis in the mid-1960s along with thousands of other military/veteran's records.

In 1997, I visited the abandoned, 100+ year old family farm in Ohio for the first time in over 25 years. I also visited the graves of my Uncles, Aunt, Grandparents, and Great Grandparents... generations of my Dad's family. But it was then I noticed there was no marker for Uncle Bob. I decided to contact the Government about getting the standard bronze marker for all veterans. I ran into some pretty strange roadblocks. They initially denied me in a September 3, 1998 letter responding to my May 11, 1998 request. Part of my problem of getting the marker was that the government wanted me to supply the paperwork that he'd been cremated or buried. They didn't read the attachments telling that he was lost at sea and his records were destroyed in the fire. After a couple more years of jousting, I got Uncle Bob's marker and had it mounted on his father's headstone in Ohio.

During one of our recent discussions on TORn, I mentioned that somewhere at one of Hawaii's War Memorials, there was a marker for Bob. As you'll see in Daughter of Nienna's incredible journey, she generously offered to go on a Quest in search for Uncle Bob because she lives near the Memorial I spoke about. Let's just say I'm staggered by what she discovered and how she's dedicated hours of research, journeying and creativity into bringing my Uncle to life more than I ever imagined. When I told my Mother and family that she not only found him but was creating this tribute for him, they were deeply moved. We'd always talked about him and he's always been considered one of the jewels of the family, but this has brought him closer to us than ever before.

We grew up knowing Bob's story; but since my visit to the farm (now being restored by our family after 30 years empty), he had become someone very real to me. I can't thank Daughter of Nienna enough for taking on the Quest of finding Uncle Bob's mark on the Memorial in Hawaii. Now I need to get to Ohio and get a picture of his veteran's plaque!

Even though I never knew Uncle Bob, I've noticed that in every picture I've seen of him... he's smiling. I'm told he was brilliant. Studies and challenges came easily to him. He was very tall... 6'4". I would think that it would have been quite a challenge for a pilot in such a confined warplane. He was also a consummate joker. His brothers and he were incredibly close and always did things together. I would have loved to hang out with him and hear stories that, I'm sure, would have me riveted for hours and hours. — Grammaboodawg



The Journey started for me this past Memorial Day when I wrote about the ceremonies at The National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater. Gramma responded telling me about her uncle: Lt. J.G. Robert Elmer Sterling, pilot in the Army Air Corps from Pontiac, Michigan, and how he made it through the largest Air Battle in the Pacific, but ended up missing, presumed that his plane went down in the ocean.

Gramma asked me to find his name which is honored at the cemetery. I gladly obliged. It’s a good walk for me, not very far, uphill, good exercise. I had excellent weather that following Friday and went on a Quest for Robert, as I came to call it.

My intent, here, is to honor Lt. J.G. Robert E. Sterling with this memorial on the date of his demise over the Pacific Ocean. He is indeed a hero, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and two Purple Hearts. Robert was also credited for sinking one of the enemy ships single-handedly, according to Gramma. Robert captured my imagination and my heart in the sense that I can visualize him blazing across the skies in his Helldiver or his preferred Dauntless and the sorrow that I feel that he has almost vanished from every record and has no grave. It has been my great honor and joy to reunite Robert with Gramma and her family.

The two of us have been sharing PMs for three weeks on this journey, so now, our conspiracy unmasked, we have contrived this joint post to pay tribute to a fallen warrior who loved his family and compatriots and found joy in flying. It has really been an amazing experience for me to do — full of tears, joy and sorrow and rewards — this and now I would like to share that experience with you. Below is Gramma's Tribute to Robert. Within this post are a series of "sub-posts" that tell the story of Robert's final battle in WWI and my quest to find him and give him to Gramma. There is also a page of references.

Gramma and I invite you to follow the Quest for Robert in the "Tribute Posts" clearly marked responses in this thread. Then, please join Gramma and myself in paying a homage to Lt. J.G. Robert E. Sterling, a fallen Rohirrim of the skies as only those of us from Rohan, Gondor, Lóthlorien, the Shire, Rivendell, Ithilien, Fanghorn, the Loney Mountain and Dale and all else where Free Peoples of Middle-earth dwell know ho to do. Daughter of Nienna

(Note: It would be helpful to make your responses to the primary post, or to each other, rather than the individual "Tribute Posts" so as not to separate them, scattering them about within the thread. That way, they can be found and read in order easily. Nobody will fuss at you though. Smile)


Photo Album of
Lt. J.G. Robert E. Sterling





Uncle Bob and my Dad as boys visiting the farm.






Grandma and Bob during his last stateside visit in 1942.




Dad and Mom shortly after their marriage in 1943.






A caricature of Bob by a friend.




Bob in his pilot's gear






Uncle Bob on the porch
with two little cousins at the farm in Ohio


The pictures of the young ladies with Uncle Bob on the porch are two little cousins and all were visiting my Great-Uncle Virgil's farm in Ohio. It's the family farm that was virtually abandoned after my Uncle passed away in the mid 1960s. It was built by our family in 1876 and didn't have electricity until the 1950s and no plumbing until my cousins returned and we all started to restore it in 1998. It's in the middle of nowhere in Amish country; and when you go down the nearly mile-long lane to get to the farm house, barn and outhouses... you feel like you've crossed over into another time, ancient, simple... probably a lot like entering Lorien, come to think of it. We visited that farm all the whole while I was a little girl. It was so special, and this town is where the cemetery is where Uncle Bob's plaque is :)






Top: Andy and Jimmy
Bottom: Bob and Dad (John)




Bob in the cockpit of Dauntless





Remember to read the tribute pages below
Bob's story is there!







To be continued… on Parts One, Two, Three, Four





Nú on théostrum licgeth Robert se léofa
hæ´letha holdost.
ne sceal hearpan sweg wigend weccean;
ne winfæ´t gylden guma sceal healdan,
ne god hafoc geond sæ´l swingan,
ne se swifta mearh burhstede beatan.
Bealocwealm hafað fréone frecan forth onsended
giedd sculon singan gléomenn sorgiende
on Meduselde thæt he ma no wære
his dryhtne dyrest and maga deorost.


Now dear Robert lies in darkness,
most loyal of fighters.
The sound of the harp shall not wake the warrior;
nor shall the man hold a golden wine-cup,
nor good hawk swing through the hall,
nor the swift horse stamp in the courtyard.
An evil death has set forth the noble warrior
A song shall sing sorrowing minstrels
in Meduseld that he is no more,
to his lord dearest and kinsmen most beloved.

Lament for Théodred



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~








Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 10:56am

Post #2 of 60 (3398 views)
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*** Quest for Robert, Part 1 — Searching for Robert, part A *** [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Quest for Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling

Part One





Searching for Robert – part A





"Lt. J.G. Robert Elmer Sterling; pilot in the Army Air Corps from Pontiac, Michigan. He was pronounced dead June 20th, 1944 (28 yo). Awarded: the Distinguished Service Cross and two Purple Hearts He was also credited for sinking one of the enemy ships single-handedly. His separation date (always a year and a day after they're lost) is June 21, 1945." — Gramma





The Tour begins...




1- Entance: Flag Half-Mast - 324



This is taken from right inside the gate. The Office and Visitor Center is just to the right of me. In there is where I inquired about Robert. They had the information readily available, gave me a map, highlighting it, and the number of the court to find him in.

Throughout this tour, I will refer to Gramma's uncle as Robert. That is how I called him my mind as I was looking for him. It makes so much more real to me and it feels more personable… as though I am searching for someone I have known myself.







Map of Punchbowl Cemetery



Above is map inside the guide I was given. The women in the office gave me well-rehearsed, concise directions with a warm smile, highlighting on the map where to go. After getting this, finding Robert was easy. Up until then, I was feeling at a loss as to how to find him.

His name is memorialized in court #2 on the right side if the Monument. From here….







4-Approaching Monument 3 - 227



… it was just a matter of ….
… taking the long, long trek ….
… toward the monument where the courts are of commemoration are. This is a fair enough opportunity along the way to admire the beautiful Chinese Banyan Trees lining the path) on both sides. Later, I had the opportunity to view one up close. They appear far more elegant from the typical Banyan Trees found all around Hawaii, with their twisty, gnarly, vine-covered trunks.

I stayed to the right since that is where the map said to go to find Court #2. Those tents are temporary features, remnants from the Memorial Day ceremonies; they were being dismantled while I was there. That stretch of lateral white wall on the right in front, has an engraved dedication, shown below.







6-Memorial Dedication - 229




6b-Memorial Dedication, Cropped and Enlarged - 229



Above is the dedication blown up in PhotoShop. Follows is what is engraved on it in smaller print. And what is on a podium with a plaque that I passed in the center in front of the stairs is bellow that.



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Tribute Wall

in smaller print on the same wall

Grant them o Lord eternal rest
Who sleep in unknown graves
<>
Our reliance is in the love of liberty
which God has planted in us
<>
This memorial is a sacred rendezvous
of a grateful people
with the immortal dead
<>
Time shall not dim
the glory of their deeds

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Center Podium Inscription

In the Gardens are recorded
the names of Americans who gave their lives
in service of their country and
whose earthy resting place is known only to God.

Gold Star indicates Medal of Honor award
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*







7-To Roberts Court - 236


Robert's section: Court #2 is located somewhere behind this Dedication wall . . . so I walked around it to search for it. you can see that there are a series of wall-courts running up behind it. The same thing is mirrored on the other side of the monument. Once I round it, as I figured, his court is that wall directly behind the Dedication wall.




To be continued… on Part Two




~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~







Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 10:58am

Post #3 of 60 (3465 views)
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*** Quest for Robert, Part 2 — Searching for Robert, Part B *** [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Quest for Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling

Part Two





Robert Sterling, college age



Searching for Robert – part B







8- Roberts Court 1: Entrance - 237



OK! Here it is! There is a beautiful precious tree in the center of the court. I find that the walls are covered in names on all sides all the way up to the top from the ground..

I enter the court, lay aside my camera and start searching names for Lt. J.G. Robert Elmer Sterling. Luckily the names are all alphabetized and this court contains mostly S's and T's on the right hand side…so I follow the order. . . that takes me around to the other side of the back wall, outside edge, facing the mauka grounds (closest to the mountains).







13-Roberts Wall 1 - 240


I'll try to describe how I felt when I saw Robert's name…
Sterling, Robert E. Lieutenant (JG), USNR, Michigan

Suddenly, it was not longer a quest for a name on a piece of paper I printed off of my computer. And it was no longer only a day out for a walk and a little adventure. became a real and tangible person. I could see him in my imagination flyingaround
in dog fights with zeros over the Pacific ocean.


The whole memorial took on new meaning. I had been here before on sightseeing trips, up till now it has been only a beautiful place to visit with and awesome lookout. Now I knew a name on the wall and was re-uniting that name with his family. And, Robert's name is among walls and walls of names…all these young men lost. I let the emotion of it wash over me. Allowing the feelings honors Robert and all of them.







12b-Roberts Wall 3 – crop - 246


I took a variety if shots, but most were too low because Robert's was so high up and too much at an angle. There's a mid-height wall opposite, I got up on that…scooted over…at least I got a straight on shot, that was not at an angle, if still a bit low, but definitely better. The above image is one of the shots I took of the wall, then cropped and enlarged in PhotoShop. I love the quality of the etching in the stone.





14-Roberts View — Right -248



Then I turn around and take a good look at the environment surrounding the wall. Above is the view to the right with my back facing the wall. Gamma requested that this one be posted… I also like the straight-on view
from Robert's wall.







18-Monument Stairs 1 -252


I climbed the long expanse of stairs with the quietly solemn series of courts on either side stretching all the way up to the monument. It was a brilliantly clear day. The Trade, that normally cools Hawai‘i off, were blowing only mildly making it a hot first day of June. Despite the sad cause of this place, it feels spiritually uplifting and healing. It is colorful too, with the vibrant blues and greens, the colors of life. Fitting, I suppose, since those belonging to the names represented here fought with their last life's blood to preserve life and keep people free to take such beauty of nature and peace in the light. It is comforting that such intensive beauty and light surround them in loving embrace.







20-Monument Front-254
Lady Columbia



I love the way the light and shadow sculpts this statue of Lady Columbia that is carved in relief.

There is an inscription on the wall below the statue. The three holes on the bottom are water spouts pouring water into a small tiled pool on the bottom of which a few scattered coins. The sound of steady trickling water is soft background music while I read the words (typed below). Behind the Lady is a small, quiet chapel with stained-glass windows though which twinkling light of varied hues showed the interior. There were remnants of flower in vases and leis of tribute over-hanging the short, dark, wooden pews. I took a couple of photos: here and here. While inside, I signed the guest book for Gramma and her family, mentioning Robert and his medals.



A few references:
PUNCHBOWL IMAGE Links:
Hawaii's World War II Memorials – Still photos of Punchbowl - Acres of Honor
eGuide to National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific – Online pictures of Honolulu Memorial National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Honolulu
Hawaii's World War II Memorials – Online pictures
Inscriptions at Punchbowl – abmc.gov/memorials .pdf

LADY COLUMBIA:
Lady Columbia – The Long Island Museum: Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty: Faces of a Nation
Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty – Antiques and the Arts


ABOUT LEIS:
Leis have a broader, deeper cultural and spiritual meaning than how most Mainlanders view them, and definitely more than just a tourist symbol. They are a symbol of, aloha, honor, respect, and appreciation given as a deeply honored tradition to both men and women…from solemn occasions, to celebrations to ceremonies, to press conferences (politicians & official on the news almost always wear leis), birthdays, and graduations are the most common. Graduates typically are covered up to their chins in Leis. Leis can be and are worn for no particular reason at all. Leis are made from all types of material and an intricate part of the history of Hawai‘i. My Granddaughters name is Kapualealoha (ka-pu-a-lei-aloha) meaning 'Flower Lei of Love'.

HISTORY and MEANING of LEIS:
Lei (Hawaii) – Wikipedia
A Short History of Hawaiian Leis – Gecko Farms
Gifts of Aloha: Hawaii's Flower Leis
The History of the Hawaiian Lei – Moolelo .com





To be continued… on Part Three






~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~








Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 10:59am

Post #4 of 60 (3401 views)
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*** Quest for Robert Part 3 — Battle of the Marianas *** [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Quest for Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling

Part Three




Battle of the Marianas Mosaic Map




Introduction


There are several Mosaics along a wall Gallery behind the huge statue of the Lady Columbia, on either side of the chapel. Each Mosaic depicts a relevant battle in the War of the Pacific in WWII. The mosaic of Robert's battle in which he perished, The Battle of the Marianas, is the first one to the left of the chapel facing it…right behind the lady on her left side. I found a website with all of the words of all the tributes of the monument & the also the Battle Maps Gallery of mosaics, which I include here with these maps. (It is really just one single map, The Battle of The Marianas, with close-ups of various portions of it.) Acres of honor Map pages: Page 1 and Page 2

* Some of the images are clickable, the ones that are images I took from the internet, leading to further information.






Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling (on the left) is pictured in his pilot's gear.




"My Uncle was based in Hawaii and absolutely loved it! My Mom says he mused about moving there after the war. His name is Lt. J.G. Robert Elmer Sterling: pilot in the Army Air Corps from Pontiac, Michigan. He was pronounced dead June 20th, 1944 (28 yo). He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and two Purple Hearts. He was also credited for sinking one of the enemy ships single-handedly." — Gramma


Distinguished Service Cross






29-Marianas Battle Map Whole Mosaic-270

30-Marianas Battle Map, Left Panel


Above is the shot of the entire map mosaic of the Battle of The Mariana Islands. Saipan, Tinian, and Guam 1944 (which is now a US Territory) are the names of the three Mariana Islands shown here though laid out in a long line as shown on this map (and a Larger Map of the Marianas). The Battle of the Marianas was the major part of the larger Battle of the Philippine Sea. (see also Wikipedia ).

References and Links related to Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling







Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling is pictured in the cockpit of his
Dauntless Torpedo Plane




Douglas SBD Dauntless – Combat Aircraft of the Pacific War
SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber – Wikipedia
Douglas SBD Dauntless – Warbird Alley's Main Page





31-Marianas Battle Map, Right Panel -272


Above is the right panel of the map which depicts the major amphibious battles of the Marianas, the ones most relevant to our story. There are three paragraphs that tell it:

32-Marianas Battle Map Part 1

(1.) "To penetrate the enemy's defenses and gain bases from which aircraft could strike at the Japanese Home Islands, the US undertook to seize the Mariana Islands in summer of 1944. For several months prior to the landings, fast carrier Task Forces and aircraft of the 7th Air Force conducted preliminary bombardments of the area."



Paragraph #s 2 and 3 contain the dates for June 19 and 20. Following the text, are two close-up photos of the action as diagramed.

33-Marianas Parts 2 & 3


(2.) On 15 June 1944, under cover of the air and naval bombardment of the fifth fleet, the 2nd and 4th Marine divisions of the V Amphibious corps landed on Saipan. The Japanese reaction was immediate and vigorous; their carrier Task Force steamed toward the Marianas to meet the American Amphibious effort. In the action that followed, the battle of the Philippine Sea on 19-20 June, Japanese carrier Aviation was substantially impaired as a major force in the war.

(3.) Meanwhile, the Marine's and the Army's 27th infantry division fought their way across the island (Saipan), against determined resistance. They then turned northward and seized the dominating heights of Mt. Topochau on 25th and 26th June. On the latter night an enemy attempt to break off his isolated position on Nafutan Point was decisively defeated. American Forces continued t press the attack against the mass of the enemy, slowly forcing him northward. Finally on the night of 6–7 July, the Japanese made a desperate last effort; their furious assault was repulsed and two days later the island was secure. — The remainder of the text found here.


Gramma's Account of Robert's Battle

References and Links related to Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling






35-Marianas: The Battle of Saipan -276


On the right side of the Island of Saipan, are the dates: June 19 and 20 of June.

BATTLE OF THE MARIANAS — a.k.a: The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot:
Marianas Turkey Shoot ***** – Air Group 31, great story detail!
Marianas and the Great Turkey Shoot – WWII Database (ww2db)
Battle of the Marianas
The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot (19-20 June, 1944) – The Freeper Foxhole Remembers - June 22nd, 2003 –NEW
Marianas Turkey Shoot – Wikipedia

References and Links related to Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling






34-Marianas Task Force -279


This is a close up of the action happening on the western side of Saipan, between that island and the island of Tinian.

Image: 36-Mariana: The Battle of Tinian
Image: 37-Marianas: The Battle of Guam



My Uncle was a Navy pilot lost at sea near New Guinea after a battle against a Japanese fleet during World War II . . . The torpedo planes carried 2 people, the pilot and a navigator/gunner (sitting one behind the other).

His plane didn't return after the Battle of the Marianas (Marianas Turkey Shoot) although other pilots saw him pull out of the last dive and was returning with the others... but his plane was badly shot up and they were trying to return to the US Aircraft Carriers in the dark. Because of the threat of U-boats, the fleet didn't run any lights, so it was nearly impossible to find them... plus the commander was sailing AWAY from the battle rather than toward it to give the pilots a shorter distance to fly. They lost as many planes from running out of gas looking for the fleet as they did in the battle. Finally the second in command ordered lights be run and the fleet was turned toward the approaching planes. My Uncle and his navigator didn't make it."
— Gramma (There are several articles and personal stories on this in the Links section)


Gramma's Account of Robert's Battle











Above is an example of what Robert might have looked like in the air fling over an aircraft carrier (same type of plane he flew, but not him in his plane).





Curtiss Helldiver in flight





Above is a Curtiss Helldiver in flight, the type of plane Robert flew the night he was lost. In the image higher up on the page, he previously flew SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber. (larger image)

— "The SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber was the U.S. Navy's main dive bomber from mid-1940 until late 1943, when it was supplemented (although not entirely replaced) by the SB2C Helldiver. . . . Although it was already reaching obsolescence by 1941, the SBD was used until 1944 when the Dauntless undertook its last major action during the Battle of the Philippine Sea (The Battle of the Marianas being the main part of it)… It had already been replaced by the SB2C Helldiver in the U.S. Navy, much to the dismay of the pilots, many of whom believed that the "Slow But Deadly" Dauntless was a better aircraft than the Helldiver, which gained the nickname "Son of a Bitch 2nd Class". The Dauntless was one of the most important aircraft in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, sinking more enemy shipping in the Pacific war than any other US or Allied aircraft." — Wikipedia


HELLDIVER / TORPEDO PLANES:
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver: The Last Dive Bomber – historynet
Bombers of World War II

References and Links related to Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling






USS Bunker Hill (CV 17)
"The Holiday Express"




Robert took off from the USS Bunker Hill on the night of battle. Robert was at one time stationed the USS Yorktown. (There are many references and anecdotes in the links section)

References and Links related to Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling





38-Marianas Map Legend -280


I'm not sure of the usefulness of Map Legend, I just liked the way it looked, and I did not have the heart not to shoot it. And, Gramma requested I post it.

Now that I mentioned my heart…I was been in tears the entire time I have been writing the commentary for this document on the Battle of the Marianas. I find it heartbreaking that Robert was lost at sea…then his records were lost for decades…there was not memorial of any kind anywhere for him, other than Punchbowl, and now the plaque that Gramma placed with her father's headstone.

I find it deeply sad that Robert is not listed on any list for the Distinguished Service Cross or the two Purple Hearts that he earned with his life's blood and the loss of his life in the end. What is really sad, is that because of is lost records, it is almost as though he has been lost for all these decades. I picture him flying around the Pacific airways with a cocky grin and love for his comrades and home in his heart.

I pray that there will be a way to fill in the gaps of his missing record and to place his name and his records so that he may get the recognition that he deserves. I hope that Gramma finds the way open for her in this Quest and that she finds people and records somewhere somehow who do have some answers and maybe even some knew him. If anyone reading this can point her in some direction to help her find out Robert and get his record known please let her know…the new Private Message feature is perfect!




"Uncle Bob and my Dad as boys visiting the farm"
— Gramma













To be continued… on Part Four





~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~









Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 11:00am

Post #5 of 60 (3372 views)
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*** Quest for Robert Part 4 — Memorial Walk *** [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Quest for Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling

Part Four





Memorial Walk









1B-Top Center-View of Grounds -324

Now to close things up and finish the tour with a stroll down Memorial Walk. From this picture above, taken from in from of the Lady Columbia statue, I go to my right past the Maps and follow a long path around the crater, nearly all the way to the other side from here.




Memorial Walk




This series of photos is of the plaques on Memorial Walk. This is a walkway that leads from the Memorial to the lookout and along the path are many, many, many plaques. I took photos only of those plaques of applicable significance to Robert. I won't say much here, they speak for themselves.




44-Lost in Pacific Plaque -290







45-American Legion Plaque -289







46-Order of Eagles Plaque -293







47-WWII Vets Jap & US Plaque -292







48-Plaque All Services-294




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PUNCHBOWL IMAGE Links:
Hawaii's World War II Memorials – Still photos of Punchbowl - Acres of Honor
eGuide to National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific – Online pictures of Honolulu Memorial National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Honolulu
Hawaii's World War II Memorials – Online pictures
Inscriptions at Punchbowl – abmc.gov/memorials .pdf

The Monument – Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific – gallery17 - About .com
The Monument – Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific – gallery20 - About .com
Punchbowl Pictures – Hawaii.Edu/Tours – photos
Tour-Punchbowl – This Week .com
List of names at Punchbowl>> Surnames: Sou-Sti – U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Database






To be continued with:

References and Links related to Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling






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Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 11:01am

Post #6 of 60 (3534 views)
Shortcut
*** References related to Lt. J.G. Robert Sterling *** [In reply to] Can't Post

 


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Links of Relevance




~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Battle Links related to Robert
and
Island Information, Maps


BATTLE OF THE MARIANAS — a.k.a: The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot:
Marianas Turkey Shoot ***** – Air Group 31, great story detail!
The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot (19-20 June, 1944) – The FReeper Foxhole Remembers - June 22nd, 2003 *** excellent account! –NEW
Battle of the Marianas
Marianas and the Great Turkey Shoot – WWII Database (ww2db)
Battle of the Mariana Islands
Marianas Turkey Shoot - Wikipedia
Strategic Victory in the Marianas:? Liberation of Guam; Capture of Saipan and Tinian – Hyperwar, a collection of different writings.
The Air Battles by Richard L. Dunn? – Missing Air Crew.com - NEW
Greatest & Last Battle of a Naval Era? – Time.com (3 pages) - NEW
The Hornet during WWII — USS-hornet.org
"During the Battle of the Philippine Sea on June 19th, Hellcat pilots from Hornet destroyed enemy aircraft with no losses in what came to be known as the "Marianas Turkey Shoot". The following afternoon, a TBM from Wasp (CV-18) spotted the retiring Japanese fleet and a strike was immediately launched. Pilots from The Hornet were the first to attack, scoring lethal hits on Zuikaku-class carrier. It was long after dark when the returning aircraft arrived over the Task Force. All were critically low on fuel, many badly shot up and their pilots wounded. From flag plot aboard Lexington (CV-16), Admiral Mark Mitscher gave his famous order to "turn on the lights", thus risking the submarine threat, but allowing the exhausted aviators to find carrier decks upon which to land."

Information about the Marianas:
Northern Mariana Islands - officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) – Wikipedia
Mariana Islands – Wikipedia
Western Pacific (Marianas) – Army.mil
Introduction
Northern Mariana Islands
- About.com

Maps of the Mariannas:
Larger Map of the Marianas
Map: Mariana Islands and New Guinea
Interactive Map of Mariana Islands (island(s)) - Encarta.msn.com
Northern Marianas – Saipan & Tinian - Go.hrw.com
Clickable zoom Map of Mariana Islands (island(s)) - Encarta.msn.com
Marianas Map – Wikimedia
Marianas Map – Infoplease .com
Map: Pacific Islands and Australia
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Maps Perry-Castañeda Library?Map Collection
Maps of Northern Mariana Islands - Maps of the World Directory


BATTLE OF THE PHILIPPINE SEA:
Decisive Battle: The Battle of the Philippine Sea – 18th June to 20th June, 1944 *****
Battle of the Philippine Sea – **** (5 pages) Historynet.com
Battle of the Philippine Sea – Wikipedia
Battle of the Philippine Sea – "The absolute, nail in the coffin, backbreaker for the Japanese…"
Battle of the Philippine Sea - Index – and – Battle of the Philippine Sea - Narrative – 19-20 June 1944
Map: Battle of the Philippine SeaBattle of the Philippine Sea – History Animated
Battle of the Philippine Sea – History Learning site



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Task Force 58
– New




Task Force 58 — View from the Flagship, Chapter 1 – (Page 1 of 7 Pgs) The Battle of the Marianas — June 1944 — A selection of related stories of U.S. Naval Aviation In the South Pacific during WW II -
The Fast Carrier Task Force – The Battle of the Philippine Sea
19-20 June 1944 - Odyssey
Task Force 58 – Answers.com
Fast Carrier Task Force – Wikipedia
SHIPS of Task Force 58 WW II – USS Indiana bb58
Task Force 58
Task Force 58 – Arlington Cemetery

COMMANDERS:
MARC ANDREW MITSCHER
Marc Andrew Mitscher – ww2db.com

Marc Andrew Mitscher – History.navy.mil
Marc Mitscher – Wikipedia
Marc Andrew Mitscher – Admiral, United States Navy – Arlington Cemetery.net
Marc Andrew Mitscher – Answers.com
Admiral Marc Andrew Mitscher, USN – Navysite.de
Mitscher, Marc Andrew, 1887-1947 – Pictures - Trumanlibrary.org


VICE-ADMIRAL RAYMOND SPRUANCE
Vice-Admiral Raymond Spruance, in command of 5th Fleet
The Battle of the Philippine Sea 19-20 June 1944: Spruance's Decision ***** – Battle of the Philippine Sea Index
Raymond A. Spruance – Wikipedia
Raymond A. Spruance – Naval Historical Center
Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance, USN, (1886-1969) – Library of Selected Images - history.navy.mil
Spruance or Halsey: Who Was Better Man for the Job – (The Battle of Midway June 3-6, 1942) centuryinter.net
Raymond A. Spruance – Spartacus.Schoolnet
Raymond Spruance – Californians and the Military - Military Museum.org
Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance – Pacific Biographies - Microworks.net

Spruance Spruance: Picture of the admiral – Article by Fletcher Pratt published August 1946 — Harpers.org
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance: Modest Victor of Midway – historynet.com
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance – answers.com
Admiral Spruance and the Battle of Philippine Sea: A Brilliant Victory or a Bungled Opportunity?


OTHERS:
Plans and Preparations – hyperwar
Arleigh Burke – Wikipedia
Biography of Rear Admiral Joseph James "Jocko" Clark – commander of USS Yorktown - jacklummus.com
Joseph James Clark Admiral, United States Navy
Admiral Montgomery: fighters of TG 58.2. (no links)
Admiral Reeves: Task Group 58.3 (no links)



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Planes & Pilots



HELLDIVER/DAUNTLESSS PILOTS of the PACIFIC WAR in WWII:
— Army Air Corps from Pontiac, Michigan
?WWII Aces & Aviation History
Michigan voices Vol. IV? The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan – August 1942 to July 1944 – Army Air Forces? in? World War II
General Pilot Resources:
Army Air Force, WWII Resource GuideU.S. Army Air Forces in World War II – HyperwarArmy Air Forces Historical AssociationAmerican fighter pilots and airplanes of World War Two
Pilots of Torpedo Squadron 31 – (Robert is not on this list: Contact)
American Fighter Aces?Series 1 – Airartnw.com - New
Cdr. David McCampbell - Top Navy Ace – acepilots.com - New
"Ace of Aces" – Capt David S. McCampbell? U.S. Navy WW-II Top Fighter Ace - Concentric.net – New
Barrett Tillman's Web Page – Author: "Clash of the Carriers", Dauntless, Hellcats, U. S. Navy Fighter Squadrons in World War II (The only survey of every U.S. Navy fighter squadron in existence from December 1941 through 1945, with details of combat deployments, aces, pilot casualties, etc). – New
Aviation Hall of Fame - WWII – National Aviation
Grumman F4F Wildcat: U.S. Navy Fighter in World War II – An obscure U.S. Navy fighter did yeoman duty when times were toughest early in World War II. By Bruce L. Crawford - Historynet.com - New
Planes & Pilots of World War II – An online World War II aviation history magazine
Links to WWII and aviation sites487th Bombardment of the 8th Air Force


DAUNTLESS TORPEDO PLANE:
Douglas SBD Dauntless – Combat Aircraft of the Pacific War
SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber – Wikipedia
Douglas SBD Dauntless – Warbird Alley's Main Page
The Douglas SBD Dauntless – xs4all
Douglas XBT2D Dauntless II
U.S. Aircraft – Warbirds.com
World War II Warbirds
American Aircraft of World War II


HELLDIVER / TORPEDO PLANES:
SB2C Helldiver – Curtiss dive bomber "Son of a Bitch, Second Class" – Ace Pilots
SB2C Helldiver – Wikipedia
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver: The Last Dive Bomber – Historynet
Helldiver Photos – Webshots
Bombers of World War II – pbs.org


MILITARY AVIATION:
Aerial Warfare – Wikipedia
Dogfight – Wikipedia
Naval aviation – Wikipedia
Military Aviation – Wikipedia
World War Two Combat Planes – Great Aircraft of History - Acepilots.com
Bomber – Wikipedia
Fighter Aircraft – Wikipedia
Military Aircraft – Wikipedia
Fighter Planes – Fighter-Planes.com
History of Aviation - World War II – History Central



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
STORIES and ANECHDOTES of WWII
(On Topic)



Pilot's Stories:
• *** A Carrier Pilot's Story – story told from a pilot who flew the same two planes Robert did, may even have been in some of the same battles. Very ell told with good detail with great images; the story ends sometime in 1943.
1944 - Philippine Sea and The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot? - James Ramage of VB-10 begins the story, Don Gordon of VF-10 continues the narrative on 19 June 1944 (and others) (assigned to the Enterprise, but in the same battle) — page 2, page 3 (talks about loss of planes due to fuel shortage, how most losses were operational rather that battle related and they were high) – cv6.org
The Bomber Pilots and Crews – a series of brief anecdotes or flyers assigned to the Essex, a few in the 'Turkey Shoot', great photos! Gives a sinse of what it might have been like for him;
Cdr. William A. Dean and VF-2 "Rippers"…19/20 June 1944 – acepilots.com
Pilots & Crew Stories: The Battle of the Marianas – June 1944 – A selection of related stories of U.S. Naval Aviation in the South Pacific during WW II, featuring the Lexington Aircraft Carrier ?
Planes & Pilots of World War II – An online World War II aviation history magazine

Yorktown Stories :
World War II: Interview with U.S. Navy Yeoman Jack Adam – All about his experience from bootcamp to being station on the Yorktown during the big battles.
Man remembers when JJ Clark risked it all?by turning on the lights on the night flight deck?to save stranded US Navy pilots – The War Times Journal
An Interview with Jack M. Williams – Yorktown Sailor.com
Find a WWII Story – hbo.com



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Award Links



DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS:
Distinguished Service Cross (United States Army)
Distinguished Service Cross – Fox Fall.com
Recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross – Home of Heroes
U.S. Army Individual Decorations (in order) - Americal .org


PURPLE HEART:
Purple Heart – Wikipedia
Military Order of the Purple Heart, Special Organization ***** – Purple Heart.org (includes descendents; conventions, scholarships, etc.)
Purple Heart Database – and: Purple Heart Recipient Submission Requirements *****
Recipient Registry – ***** Recipient Registry: American Purple Heart, Wound Chevron, and Mariners Medal
Purple Heart – Americal.org
Purple Hearts.net
Purple Heart .com
The Purple Heart...What Is It? – Purple Heart Chapters.org
Category:Recipients of the Purple Heart medal – Wikipedia
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor - Ny Sparks.state
National Deep Purple Hall of Honor – The Purple Heart.com



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Aircraft Cariers



USS BUNKER HILL (CV-17):
USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) – Bunker Hill.navy.mil
USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) – Wikipedia
USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) – NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive
USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) – Chinfo.navy.mil
USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) – History .Navy.mil
USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) – Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

USS YORKTOWN (CV-10):
USS Yorktown (CV-10) – Wikipedia
USS Yorktown CV-10 – Chinfo.navy.mil
USS Yorktown (CV 10) – Navysite.de
USS Yorktown (CV-10) – Patriots Point.Org
USS Yorktown CV-10 – History Central.com
USS Yorktown (CV 10) – Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Yorktown Images:
USS Yorktown (CV-10) – Navsource.org
Images from documentary about USS Yorktown – Yorktown Sailor.com
USS Yorktown1 943-1975 – Online Library of Selected Images:? U.S. Navy Ships, Department of the Navy — Naval Historical Center
USS Yorktown1 – images.google

USS INTREPID (CV-11)
USS Intrepid (CV-11) – chinfo.navy.mil
USS Intrepid (CV-11) – Navsource
USS Intrepid (CV-11) – Wikipedia
USS Intrepid (CV-11) – Great pictures! - Maritime Quest.com
USS Intrepid (CV-11) – History.navy.mil
USS Intrepid (CV-11) – Swordsmen.org
USS Intrepid – Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms - nps.gov
Intrepid Museum – Intrepid Museum.org
"My Ship!" U.S.S Intrepid – ?by Raymond Stone - Kamikaze Images
USS Intrepid Association – Former Crewmembers
USS Intrepid (CV-11) – USS INTREPID was the third ESSEX - class aircraft carrier and the fourth ship in the Navy to bear the name — Navysite.de
USS Intrepid History – an outline - wa3key.com


OTHER AIRCRAFT CARIERS IN the BATTLE:
The Fast Carriers
EssexClass Fast Carriers – The six ships of this class participating in the Marianas operation and the Battle of the Philippine Sea were: Essex, Hornet, Yorktown, Wasp, Lexington and Bunker Hill
USS Enterprise CV-6 – odyssey.dircon.co (Image of air battle take by a sailor on board on day of Marianas Turkey Shoot) ***
The Cariers – about.com
The Hornet – Task Force 58The Hornet – main page – caltech.edu
The Hornet during WWII



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Pacific War of WWII - General



Timeline of Events?1941-1945 – History Place .com
Pacific War – Wikipedia
Pacific Ocean theater of World War II – Wikipedia
Pacific War – WWII Database (ww2db)
The Pacific War – The War Times Journal
Patriots Point.Org – a museum; fun site to set the mood, great music (Benny Goodman, et al).
Major Turning Points of World War 2 – Wiki Answers
Chapter 23?: World War II: The War Against Japan – American Military History
Pacific Theater of Operations – Hyperwar
World War II in the Pacific – and: WW2 PACIFIC FAQ – ww2pacific.com
World War II Maps – Perry-Castañeda Library?Map Collection
US Army Air Force Glossary and Abbreviations
World War II – Wars and Conflicts of the United States Navy - History.Navy.mil



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Other Battle Links related to the Marianas


BATTLE OF SAIPAN:
Battle of Saipan – Wikipedia
The Battle of Saipan
Breaching the Marianas:The Battle for Saipan – Marines in World War II ?Commemorative Series
The Air Offensive: Saipan and Tinian – World War II? Virtual Museum

THE BATTLE OF TINIAN:
Battle of Tinian – Wikipedia
The Seizure of Tinian – by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation
Invasion And Battle For Tinian – American Memorial Park Virtual Museum


THE BATTLE OF GUAM:
Battle of Guam and Capture of Guam – Wikipedia
Project Guam – Airdale American History
Beginning of the End – Marines in World War II Commemorative Series
Battle action on Guam: Image Album – National Park Service


NEW GUINEA & WWII:
New Guinea campaign – Wikipedia
The Pacific War and New Guinea
The Battle for Papua and New Guinea
New Guinea?The Battle for Papua and New Guinea – Hyperwar: collection of writings on the web
South West Pacific theatre of World War II – Wikipedia
New Guinea – Wikipedia
Maps & Information:
Map of New Guinea (island(s)), Asia – Encarta.msn.com
Image: New Guinea map – Google
Clickable map of New Guinea – fotw.net
Papua New Guinea – Geographia
About Papua New Guinea– About.com: Geography






Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 11:03am

Post #7 of 60 (3424 views)
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*** Grammaboodawg's Account of Robert's Battle *** [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Gramma's Account of Robert's Battle
In the Marianas Islands







Bob (on the left) in his pilot's gear.




Reference Links of Relevance to Robert




Uncle Bob was the eldest son of 5 children in Dad's family. He graduated from Michigan State College (now University) with a degree in engineering and was working for General Motors of Grand Rapids, Michigan when WWII broke out. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and was a Lieutenant JG Helldiver Pilot where he flew off the aircraft carriers Yorktown, Intrepid and Bunker Hill.

Helldivers were two-man torpedo attack planes with a pilot and a navigator/gunner. Bob's plane was lost at sea when returning from an attack on the Japanese fleet in the Battle of the Marianas (referred to as the Marianas Turkey Shoot) as a part of a combined American Fleet designated Task Force 58. It was one of the major attacks launched against the Japanese in the Pacific since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it was a turning point in the war. Of the 430 enemy aircraft involved in the battle, 35 were left operational with three carriers and two of their finest ships sunk. Of the hundreds of American planes launched, losses were 23 aircraft shot down and 6 aircrew lost operationally with 31 fatal injuries on the ships from enemy attacks.



Bob in the cockpit of his Dauntless Torpedo Plane



This battle took place on the night of June 19, 1944. Our planes had to travel over a great distance to engage the Japanese fleet. All the while our planes were flying towards the enemy, the U.S. commander (Admiral Spruance) ordered the fleet to travel "away" from the battle in fear of German U-boats... widening the distance for our planes' return late in the evening. This was one of many bad decisions the non-flyer commander made against the counsel of his flight-experienced Admirals; the most respected and experienced being Admiral Mitscher.

Reference Links of Relevance to Robert


Orders for ships at sea during wartime are to travel with no lights running so they won't be spotted by the enemy. Our air forces were in a brutal fight, diving at the enemy ships while flying through gunfire and avoiding enemy aircraft. When the battle was over, our planes (crippled and running low on fuel) tried to find their way back to their carriers in the dark; which were now a much greater distance away than when they had left. Admiral Mitscher finally convinced Spruance to turn the fleet and steam back toward the returning planes. Against orders and at great risk to themselves from enemy submarines and night-flying scout planes, Mitscher also convinced Spruance to light up the carriers as a beacon for our planes. After flying a total of 275-300 miles to engage the enemy and then return to the US fleet, the aircraft landed nearly out of fuel. Most of those lost never made it simply because they ran out of fuel and ditched. Some pilots were recovered the next day in an exhaustive search, but Bob and his navigator were never found.

A fellow pilot who was with Bob during that battle contacted my Grandmother after the war and told her he saw Bob's plane dive through the enemy flack over and over, attacking the enemy ships. When the attack was broken off, he saw Bob pull out of his last dive and turn with the rest of the aircraft as they headed back to the American fleet. Bob's plane was shot up, yet he was still in control... but he never made it back. It's unknown if the plane finally failed from multiple hits, if Bob succumbed to injuries, or if they ran out of fuel. A year and a day later, he was declared dead. Grandma received the Purple Heart posthumously for her son. He was cited as being responsible for sinking one of the enemy ships during that battle. It's sad, but we never knew what his navigator's name was. All we know is that he was from New Jersey. Their records were lost in a government office fire along with thousands of other military/veteran's records in the mid-1960s.

Reference Links of Relevance to Robert


Grandma was widowed when Uncle Bob was 14. She raised 4 sons and 1 daughter alone since the beginning of the depression. She lost 2 of her 4 sons during WWII while the other two both served as Marines. Bob went into the Army Air Corps, Dad and Uncle Jimmy went into the Marine Corps, and Uncle Andy died while awaiting orders from the Army.


In 1997, I visited the family farm in Ohio for the first time in over 25 years. I also visited the graves of my Uncles, Aunt, Grandparents, and Great Grandparents... generations of my Dad's family. But it was then I noticed there was no marker for Uncle Bob. We grew up knowing his story, but since my visit to the farm (abandoned for over 30 years and now being restored by our family) he has become someone very real to me.

Even though I never knew Uncle Bob, I've noticed that in every picture I've seen of him... he's smiling. I'm told he was brilliant. Studies and challenges came easily to him. He was very tall... 6'4". I would think that it would have been quite a challenge for a pilot in such a confined warplane. He was also a consummate joker. His brothers and he were incredibly close and always did things together. I would have loved to hang out with him and hear stories that, I'm sure, would have me riveted for hours and hours.




Grandma and Bob during his last stateside visit in 1942.




Uncle Bob and my Dad as boys visiting the farm.
http://img.photobucket.com/...nponyphotobucket.jpg

Bob around the time of college graduation.
http://img.photobucket.com/...BobgraduationMSU.jpg

A caricature of Bob by a friend.
http://img.photobucket.com/...cleBobcaracature.jpg

A caricature of Bob by a friend.
http://img.photobucket.com/...cleBobcaracature.jpg

Uncle Bob on the porch at the farm in Ohio
http://img.photobucket.com/...g/UncleBobatFarm.jpg

Andy and Jimmy, Bob and Dad:
http://img.photobucket.com/...maboodawg/img029.jpg







~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~










Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 20 2007, 12:25pm

Post #8 of 60 (3412 views)
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Heroes [In reply to] Can't Post

Y'know, it's awfully hard to read these posts, when there's tears welling up in one's eyes...Evil

My gosh, DoN, this is a most impressive thing you've done, all the research, and your time at the memorial, and all these wonderful pictures! But you're right: one can visit these places over and over, but their true significance does not hit you until you can place a face with them.

My dad and his brothers were fortunate to have all returned home from WWII. But to say the loss of life is staggering, is such an understatement! What are those words from that song in Shenandoah: "...they're more than just numbers, more than talley scores in a game: the faces have names..." And for each name, a family, somewhere, grieved.

And each one was a hero.

It's the "not knowing" that hurts most, the not being able to have what's called "closure". Gramma, I'm so glad you persisted and got that marker for your uncle! And what a amazing quest you two have gone on, here!

And now, for Robert, a song (I'm not sure who wrote this):

"Let us sing for unsung heroes, those who lay their dreams aside,
Choosing honor more than glory, pledging faith with quiet pride.
Those whose uniform is courage yet are unashamed of tears,
Finding in their love of freedom power stronger than their fears.

Sing a song for unsung heroes, sing from sea to shining sea.
As the faithful sang before you sing the song of liberty.

Let us sing for unsung heroes, those who answered freedom’s call,
Those united by one purpose: all for one and one for all.
We will sing and not be silenced; we will keep our voices strong,
For as long as we keep singing freedom’s cry will still live on.

Sing a song for unsung heroes, sing from sea to shining sea.
As the faithful sang before you, sing the song of liberty!"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"History often resembles "Myth", because they are both ultimately of the same stuff."
-JRR Tolkien, "On Fairy-stories"


squire
Valinor


Jun 20 2007, 12:57pm

Post #9 of 60 (3398 views)
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Connections [In reply to] Can't Post

What an amazing tribute to an American hero. Thank you, DoN and Gramma for letting us share this.

The Battle of the Philippene Sea is so often recorded as a one-sided American victory, that it is too easy to forget our men who were lost making it so.

The US Navy developed an amazing training program to make first class pilots out of thousands of boys from farms, small towns and cities, a program that the Japanese never could match with their smaller population and more elitist attitude towards who could become an officer and a pilot. Their world-class naval air corps, trained for a decade in the late 1930s and master of the Pacific after Pearl Harbor, was decimated in 1942-43 at Midway and Guadalcanal; by 1944 at the Marianas their replacement pilots were green and undertrained, no match for the green but superbly trained Americans. That is why the battle was called a "Turkey Shoot" by the giddy US fliers - those who survived.

Gramma's Uncle Bob was part of a massive mobilization and organization of the entire US population in the service of a victory for freedom.

Finally, for those who saw "Letters from Iwo Jima" - you may remember the Japanese garrison's dismay at the news that the Japanese fleet has been unexpectedly defeated and will not be able to prevent the invasion of Iwo Jima. That defeat was the battle of the Philippene Sea, the "Turkey Shoot", which took Uncle Bob from his family forever.

Again, thanks Daughter of Nienna and Gramma!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


Advising Elf
Rohan


Jun 20 2007, 1:07pm

Post #10 of 60 (3331 views)
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*speechless*salutes* // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Yahoo!Group with good stuff to download:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LOTRgoodies/


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 20 2007, 1:12pm

Post #11 of 60 (3395 views)
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oh dernwyn... [In reply to] Can't Post

*tears do well up* That's wonderful. You always know what to say, and those lyrics are perfect. Thank you.

Isn't DoN amazing? I'm giving a copy of this to my Mom when I see her this weekend :) She knows about it, but hasn't seen it yet. She's the only one left of that generation affiliated with Dad's family... so she's the keeper of the flame :)


sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 20 2007, 1:27pm

Post #12 of 60 (3377 views)
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When you think of the scope [In reply to] Can't Post

of that battle, our losses were historically low! It's been told that Uncle Bob was quite the ace and loved flying.

The strange coincidence is that my Dad (Marine) was stationed in that same area at the same time in the Palua Islands. He got in trouble once for trying to make fudge in his helmet over a fire (funny since it was normally 90+ degrees. Everyone who had any kind of chocolate threw it into the mix and began gathering around the fire... the chocolate smell drawing in others. Well, uh, there were snipers there... so it seemed the runny fudge made the troops completely forget they were still in a warzone with active snipers up in the trees!

Dad said it was worth it ;)


sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


Wynnie
Rohan


Jun 20 2007, 1:49pm

Post #13 of 60 (3343 views)
Shortcut
Thanks to you both [In reply to] Can't Post

-- to gramma, for sharing this touching story, and to DoN for the legwork and photos. These posts are a wonderful tribute to Robert's memory. Gramma, you must be very proud of him. Again, thanks.





None such shall return again.



a.s.
Valinor


Jun 20 2007, 6:04pm

Post #14 of 60 (3404 views)
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"Lord, if the tempered winds be near" [In reply to] Can't Post

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!

Aloft in solitudes of space,
Uphold them with Thy saving grace.
Thou Who supports with tender might
The balanced birds in all their flight.
Lord, if the tempered winds be near,
That, having Thee, they know no fear.

That's the Naval Aviation Hymn (at least, the version I know).

What a wonderful tribute. Thanks to you both, from the daughter, grandaughter, niece, cousin, and wife of US vets.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say they're gonna come back.
Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior if sinful ways you lack.
Some say they're coming back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be."

~~~~~Iris DeMent


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 6:41pm

Post #15 of 60 (3339 views)
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Oh dear! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm bawling again. When I was putting this together for Gramma (her version was unedited, longer, more pictures) , I spent days bawling my eyes out...couldn't stop. I had to do it a little, then take a break..etc.

The words in that song are perfect...wonderfully moving. Thank-you so much for that contributon. Heart

I really feel deeply honored to be a part of it. Fates picked me as a conduit...I didn't pick it, it just happened and I am joyed by it. It filled me up in some way that I don't have words for.


Aloha kâua!
Daughter of Nienna
Heart


http://www.geocities.com/...es/mahalo-aloha.html




.

Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 6:47pm

Post #16 of 60 (3350 views)
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Oh wow [In reply to] Can't Post

This week end. I am so glad she is getting this and so soon. (yours is longer, That one or this one?.) I took The Quest and put it together as much for her as for you.

DoN
Heart

... *got to go get coffee* my eyelids won't be pried open for anything, and my brain mushy. Smile




.

Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 7:13pm

Post #17 of 60 (3316 views)
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Mahalo, Squire [In reply to] Can't Post

for that terrific contribution.

Quite a lot of our 'boys' (as they were called then) survived the actual Turkey shoot, but a lot of losses were what is termed "operational losses" rather than 'combat losses' because the pilots couldn't find the ships to land on and were crash-landing on the ships when they did or were lost at sea, a few, only were fished out. The number, 75 planes, seems to come to my memory as the number lost (I'll have to fish through the link to verify), while only handful (7, I think) were lost in the actual air-battle portion. And a huge number of Japanese planes were lost in the actual battle.

I am probably completely wrong with the numbers...I have no memory for numbers...the difference between US and Japan is very striking. But what shocked me, was the startling differences between the number of US planes lost in battle and those lost after the battle. It is heart-breaking to know they survived the fight but lost their lives to lack of fuel (and other factors involved)...or lost for any reason.


Aloha `oe!
DoN




.

Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 7:15pm

Post #18 of 60 (3323 views)
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Fantastic anecdote! :-D / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Jun 20 2007, 7:27pm

Post #19 of 60 (3329 views)
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Oh dear! [In reply to] Can't Post

...crying again!

That is the most wonderful contribution. Mahalo to you.

how did you learn that...are there pilots among those vets you mentioned?

Aloha `oe!
DoN
Heart



In Reply To
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!

Aloft in solitudes of space,
Uphold them with Thy saving grace.
Thou Who supports with tender might
The balanced birds in all their flight.
Lord, if the tempered winds be near,
That, having Thee, they know no fear.






.

Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Jun 20 2007, 9:45pm

Post #20 of 60 (3359 views)
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I've been reading the 1944 diary of Howard Fogg [In reply to] Can't Post

His daughter-in-law is in my writers' group, and she's making a book of his diary.

He was a fighter pilot over Europe, and flew dozens of missions. On days when he couldn't fly because of weather conditions, his reaction was "Nuts!" One entry made my hair stand on end: On June 6, 1944, he wrote "This is it!" Despite his many missions, he came home safely and became a famous railroad artist; a google search on his name will turn up lots of websites.



My uncle was also in the Navy in WWII, but he wasn't a pilot. He served on a ship. He too survived, and came home to live the rest of his life as a closeted gay man. It's always made me sad to know that he couldn't be free to be who he really was. But I'm proud of him for his service.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
and some other stuff I wrote...
leleni at hotmail dot com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


hatster
Rohan


Jun 20 2007, 10:00pm

Post #21 of 60 (3350 views)
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Wow... [In reply to] Can't Post

That was beautiful! Thank you both. An amazing tribute! I'm so glad you finally did get the marker, gramma, and hope someday maybe you can see the memorial yourself.

My Uncle Dave was lost in WWII and never found too, but he was flying over Germany. My family did manage to get a marker at Arlington finally. The not knowing was the worst. From what I understand, my grandmother was plagued by calls for several years from someone who claimed he saw Uncle Dave after the war. My Dad searched for him in Europe, but never got many answers. The remaining three brothers just barely recovered from the affects of that war. Actually, I'd go so far as to say that two of them never recovered. One died quite young.

I have lost the dwarves and I have lost the wizard, and I don't know where I am; and I don't want to know, if only I can get away.


a.s.
Valinor


Jun 20 2007, 11:27pm

Post #22 of 60 (3333 views)
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no, no pilots [In reply to] Can't Post

but I'm a Navy Wife, and have listened to the Navy Hymn many MANY times, including the added verses for the "Naval Aviation Hymn" (which I had to look up online to remember all the words). I still live in the occasional flight path for one of the Naval Air Stations in our part of the world.

My mom's dad was in WWI (as a soldier); my dad was in WWII (Army); my uncle was in the Naval Dental Corps (he was too young for WWII)---he taught at Anapolis; other uncles in WWII (both sides of the family) some Navy, some Army. No Air Corps. Various cousins in the Marines and Army in Vietnam. Various cousins in the Navy after Vietnam was over.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say they're gonna come back.
Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior if sinful ways you lack.
Some say they're coming back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be."

~~~~~Iris DeMent


kareniel
Lorien

Jun 20 2007, 11:42pm

Post #23 of 60 (3315 views)
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A beautiful and important story // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2007, 12:25am

Post #24 of 60 (3360 views)
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Good work. [In reply to] Can't Post

It was hard for me to hold back tears. What a touching partnership between the two of you.

Although Daughter of Nienna suggested we PM gramma with any suggestions on how to memorialize her uncle, I want to post the following link here for any of you who know or have known American World War II veterans. I believe this web site was contstructed at the time the World War II memorial in Washington D.C. was opened. It has a registry where you can post a photo and the war record of veterans. A good friend of our family’s did this on behalf of my father a few years before he died. Dad didn’t have a computer so he asked me to print off the page he is on. He was so proud of it. Our friend also went on to post info on Dad’s two brothers who also fought in the war. The regisgtry is at the following site. (Click on WWII Registrry).

http://www.wwiimemorial.com/

~~~~~~~~

Coming up with reasons for changing my nick from GaladrielTX to Galadriel wore me out.



(This post was edited by Galadriel on Jun 21 2007, 12:26am)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 21 2007, 12:27am

Post #25 of 60 (3322 views)
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This is for you [In reply to] Can't Post



You are a lucky star :)


sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


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