Robert (Bob) W. Knutson

Sgt    17169741    613th
1920 - 1943

Left Waist Gunner onboard 42-31064 (Hey Lou)

Madingley cemetery, Camebridge, England.
Wall of missing
1920 - 1943

     Robert was born 1920, Sibley, Minnesota.
     He enlisted to the aircorps.

     In 1943 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG
     His last mission, Dec 31, 1943, Target: Cognac, France, the aircraft was hit by flak over the target and had
     to leave formation.
     At this point it was attacked by some enemy fighters and was last seen smoking and diving into the clouds.
     Wreckage of the aircraft was found out beyond St. Catherine's Point on the South of England.
     Unfortunately Robert didn't survived this crash.

     He was awarded with an Air Medal and a Purple Heart Medal

                         Thom Knutson was Robert's 10 year younger brother.
                         He was about 10 years old when Robert left for England.

                         As a child Bob was his hero.


                                                                                             On this photo, Robert (Bob) and Thom.
                                                                           Thom was 11 years old when his mother took this photo.
                                            He came home for a week furlough just before leaving for duty somewhere in England.
                                                                                             I never saw my brother again after that.

                    His younger sister Betty Delpozza remembers Bob as being a dear man, kind an thoughtful.
                    He was a proud member of the R.O.T.C. ( reserve Officers Training Corps ).
                    He entered the U.S. Air Force right out of high school.


                                                                             On this photo, Bob (17) standing in his ROTC uniform.
                                                     ROTC was a pre militairy program offered by the Davenport, Iowa high school.

                         Bob was an excellent swimmer and diver and performed in diving and swimming
                         competitions, and later he became a life guard at the public pool.
                         One of the scenarios regarding his disappearance was, perhaps the crew bailed out of the
                         burning plane over the freezing water of the English channel.

                         That, of course, is the most ironic part....
                         He was a champion swimmer.

                         Our mother and father were devastated, those were very sad and quite times.


                                      With one leg resting on a park bench overlooking the Mississippi river in Davenport, Iowa.
                                                     Just weeks before leaving for his basic training in Denver, Colorado.

                         Two medals were presented to our family and Sgt. Robert Wade Knutson was declared
                         officially dead in 1944.

                         I wish I could add more information, it's just so very long ago.
                         I think of him often, and to this day, there is an emptiness in me and a mystery that will never
                         be solved.

                         Many thanks to Thom Knutson, Las Vegas and Betty Delpozza from Sacramento, CA.

Mission to Cognac, crashed beyond St. Catherine's Point, England

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