Robert Lincoln Crosswait, Jr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 15, 1918 in South Dakota. His parents Robert and Elizabeth were both born in Iowa. His father worked as a school superintendent. Robert had three older sisters, one older brother, and two younger brothers who both served in the army during WW2. By 1940 Robert, known as Bobby, was living at home and had completed one year of college. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps.
He enlisted in the army on February 10, 1941 and qualified for flight school. He was originally trained to fly B-25 Mitchells He became a first lieutenant in the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group where he flew P-38 Lightnings.
He married Kathleen Bushnell in January 1943 and was sent overseas in August 1943. During his career as a fighter pilot he completed 35 missions and was credited with one victory. On June 30, 1944 his plane was shot down over New Guinea and he was reported as missing in action. New Guinea has some of the densest jungles in the world. Lt. Crosswait and his plane have never been found.
His cenotaph grave is at Eventide Cemetery in Woonsocket, South Dakota. His widow remarried after his death and she died in 2012.
Last year on this date I profiled Earl Charbonneau, 90th Infantry Division. You can read about Earl here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100