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SGT Robert B. White 82 ABN veteran of Normandy and Holland jumps

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    SGT Robert B. White 82 ABN veteran of Normandy and Holland jumps

    Robert B. White is a friend, who I have not seen for several years due to various circumstances. He may have passed on now, as I have been unable to locate him in my more recent attempts. I colorized the picture he gave me of himself. I still have a German item (SS stickpin) he gave me, one of the flags that were worn on the sleeve of the jump jacket for the Normandy jump, a couple of the glow badges they wore (don't know the proper term for them) and his Orange Lanyard for Market Garden. He was shot several times while coming down in this chute. After Normandy in the jump at Nijmegen, having been shot in Normandy, he jumped with his weapon at the ready.......and again was shot coming down.....once in the leg, and once in the foot, blowing off the heel of his boot, but this time he returned fire and dispatched a couple of those shooting at him on the way down.

    Ron





    ACTIVITY DURING WWII
    SERVED WITH COMPANY A, 508TH PARACHUTE INFANTRY, 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION. HE JUMPED INTO NORMANDY ON D-DAY, AND AT NIJMEGEN, HOLLAND DURING OPERATION MARKET GARDEN. HIS DECORATIONS INCLUDE THE COMBAT INFANTRYMAN BADGE, PARACHUTIST WING WITH 2 STARS AFFIXED FOR COMBAT JUMPS, 2 AWARDS OF THE BRONZE STAR, 4 AWARDS OF THE PURPLE HEART, DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION, GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL, AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL, EUROPEAN THEATER MEDAL WITH 5 CAMPAIGN STARS AND A SPEARHEAD (FOR THE D-DAY INVASION), WWII VICTORY MEDAL, ARMY OF OCCUPATION MEDAL, THE NETHERLANDS ORANGE LANYARD FOR OPERATION MARKET GARDEN, AND THE BELGIAN FOURRAGERE.


    #2
    Amazing!, thanks for posting

    Regards,

    Jonatan

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Jonatan View Post
      Amazing!, thanks for posting

      Regards,

      Jonatan
      You are welcome.

      I only have one more thing connected even remotely with Bob......but no really, and only a photo I took of it before I gave it to him. I had never tried to do a portrait in watercolor before, but I did one of him. It was much bigger than this photograph I took of it, even though it isn't very good, he loved it and put it over his fireplace in his den with all his decorations and awards. It was still there the last time I saw him.........he obvious had no taste in art. I think he just liked me .

      An artist I am not!

      Ron

      Comment


        #4
        Sometime back, when I posted this, I said that I had nothing else much connected with Bob......sorry, I forgot. He did give me a bunch of 82nd patches and a few of the little "cheesecloth type" flags that he had during the Normandy jump (I think he said he also wore them during the one in Holland). I framed the best ones of the bunch and had them hanging beside his lanyard at one time. For some reason I took them down, but tonight, while working in the room to get more room, I moved some stuff and found them again........so I thought I would show them to you. Sorry I didn't clean the glass and things are pretty dirty there during the work.

        Ron

        Comment


          #5
          I told you before that I lost track of SGT White. What I didn't tell you is how. I lost his phone number, and his address during my last move to Germany, and the fire that took place here right before the move. I became totally out of the seeking of military things when I was selected for the low level federal judge position I held until my stroke May of 2009. The other health problems I experienced in 2002 and after distracted me and took time to battle. His phone was unlisted and since I lost his address, even though I knew, of course, the general location in which he lived, it is a large area with confusing streets. I tried each time I was in the area, but since he was not a well known person, and a lot of new people had moved into the area........in short they didn't know him.

          While recently sorting some stuff his address showed up again.......but no phone number.......so my son and I made the drive tonight........and found his house.
          It looked the same.

          [IMG][/IMG]

          His stones were still by the entry.

          [IMG][/IMG]

          [IMG][/IMG]

          His flag pole was still there, but stands empty now.

          [IMG][/IMG]

          I rang the doorbell, but nobody came. I went across the street to his neighbor's house........she remembered seeing me at his house many times, standing and talking with him before I left on each visit. I asked her where he was, and looking sad she said "he passed away two years ago". His daughter, who I never met since she was away every time I visited, lives far away and has finally decided to sell the house and will be getting it ready to sell soon.........so, I shall never go back again, never see him again in this life, and my son shall not meet the quiet ordinary man who jumped into Normandy on D-Day and into Holland during "Market Garden".....and my son will have missed meeting a very good man. I and the others who knew him are left with our memories......and I with the things he gave me, and later my son will have them, because they will never be for sale. I can see the picture that I posted of him on the WW2 Memorial site (the one he gave me and I posted here).......but all that is not the same as seeing him again. Don't get so involved in your daily lives that you lose the chance to be with the men and women who made it possible for us all to have our daily lives and freedoms which we tend to take forgranted. Honor our veterans while we still have them, because another one has moved on.

          SGT Robert B. White has passed on. Goodbye my friend.

          Ron

          Comment


            #6
            I made one more trip to SGT White's home today, even though I thought I had made my last already; however, this one was my last. The house has been sold, but his daughter gave the new owner's Grandparents my name and number to call. I went back and the Grandfather of the new owner let me and my son, Robert, in to get the stuff that SGT White's remaining family said was to be given to me, because they knew he wanted me to have it. We loaded the things set aside for me, thanked him and told him to thank the family (I don't know where they live)........and left for the last time.

            I really knew he liked me, but I suppose more than I thought.

            I just got home a few hours ago, and had some things to do, so I haven't gone through it all yet. There are no German things.....he only brought back a few and he gave most of them to me years ago along with some of his patches etc.....and no "earth shattering" things.......just some things that meant a lot to him............which in turn makes them mean that much to me too.

            I took a few quick photos and made a couple of quick scans to show you. There are more papers, books, and other things that I will go through in time.......but for now here are some of the things.

            The rocks.
            [IMG][/IMG]

            [IMG][/IMG]

            A charcoal that I had even forgotten that I had done for him in 1983 as a little gift.

            [IMG][/IMG]

            My old Explorer had a bunch of stuff.

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            Even the mat at the entry of his den.

            [IMG][/IMG]

            [IMG][/IMG]

            [IMG][/IMG]

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            And this will hang within a few feet of where I "painted" it (it is a watercolor) over 27 years ago.

            [IMG][/IMG]

            I guess my "room" will become filled with even less German military than I had thought.......that is OK, I started in 1946 really looking for U.S. things.

            Ron

            Comment


              #7
              In going through Bob's papers that I got several months ago, I found a copy of the order to develop Air Infantry. I thought you might like to see it.

              Ron

              Comment


                #8
                Just think of what that little piece of paper led to....
                pseudo-expert

                Comment


                  #9
                  Wow, just read this. I am moved! Good to hear his things will be kept saved for many more years!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This was quite touching to read, thank you for posting,
                    Joe

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ron

                      How's things? You sure have another excellent grouping in honor of a sacred individual. Very inspiring way to preserve thier great service and sacrifices.

                      I'm very proud by this to be a current member of the 508th


                      -Ray-

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by -Ray- View Post
                        Ron

                        How's things? You sure have another excellent grouping in honor of a sacred individual. Very inspiring way to preserve thier great service and sacrifices.

                        I'm very proud by this to be a current member of the 508th


                        -Ray-
                        Ray,

                        Thanks, and thank you for your service! You are a member of a very famous and great outfit, and if it wasn't for our service personnel we wouldn't have what we do in the way of freedoms now............too many now have no clue what they really owe our military people.

                        I am doing OK.......so far my remaining kidney is hanging in there at stage 2 of CKF, I haven't had another stroke since the one in 2009 which forced me to retire, and I haven't died again since 2002.......so it is holding at only 4 times that I have tried that (didn't care much for it). Also my wife is back home from the hospital again (this trip made about 3 weeks there in the past two months.....and a lot more overall, but now she has developed a seizure disorder to go with her liver transplant and several other things; however she is somewhat tough.....like me she went into the service right out of high school, except she was in the USAF and made the equivalent of a SGT while I ended up, after basic at FT Jackson, as an EM at a place called FT Campbell assigned to an outfit called the 101st ABN........never got to be a SGT though. I also tried the USAF during Vietnam, but got washed out of pilot training pre-flight for eyesight 20/25 uncorrectable.....so I came back, went to law school and, after 3 years as a prosecutor, I went back into the army as a JAG CPT with the 8th ID in Germany. I sort of hate to give up, and I wanted to be an officer; however, I gave up the commission to save my first marriage......didn't work.....I should have stayed in but hindsight is perfect 20/20, and my vision was only 20/25 uncorrectable!

                        I am not going to go back again though..............they won't take 72 year old guys with my or any other sort of bad health problems.

                        Thanks again for your service..........and I am running out of old vet friends to talk about.......I wasn't smart enough to document their history at the time, and they are gone now.......unfortunately so is a lot of my memories of what they did etc. since my stroke and resultant brain damage and memory loss.

                        Ron

                        P.S. Your Avatar reminds me and my son very much of my now deceased buddy, Bear, when he was POed, or maybe I should say quite upset.
                        Last edited by Ron C.; 05-05-2012, 11:31 PM. Reason: Add P.S.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          More stuff found in Bob's things.

                          Bob stayed active in the 82nd Association over the years, along with his wife........the only one he ever had. Here they are in these photos I found in the things he had the family give to me. These were taken November 11, 2002, which was the year I died in June, I had still not come back enough to go back to work yet.....but soon after, and it was during the time I lost track of Bob due to my medical problems. They were taken by someone at the Charleston, WV, Civic Center during a function for veterans. Bob still fit in the uniform, and was the color guard SGT. I have done as close crops as I could, but I cannot make the pictures any better really than what I had to work with.

                          Ron







                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thank you Sir

                            Ron, thank you so much for the stories, the history, all of it. I am currently collecting veterans stories from WW2 (or any other conflict) but WW2 is by far my favorite. It saddens me to think that these stories, if unrecorded, are being lost forever with every Vets passing. Fortunately, I work in health care, and I do meet quite a few WW2 vets. I write down all of their stories, for a book I hope to write someday. My father was a pilot in WW2, and I am a veteran. There is not any more noble endeavor.

                            Thank you for your service, and thank you for telling his story.


                            PS: If you are intierested in sharing any of your experience, I would be honored to include it in my research. You can send me a private message and I will contact you.

                            Regards

                            Gary

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I have Robert Whites German souvenirs and his unit history. It came from his Nephew to me last year. It is all located at the Michigan Military Heritage Museum and I can be reached there on Facebook. Scott

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