In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class
Robert E. Black
Reliance, South Dakota
Lyman County
 March 5, 1924 -- March 24, 1945
Killed in Action in Combat over Germany

Memorial cross for Robert E. Black

Pfc. Robert E. Black was born on March 5, 1924, to Mr. and Mrs. Ed Black of   

Reliance, South Dakota at their farm home northeast of Reliance. He attended country school and when his parents moved into Reliance, he attended town school for a time. Robert worked on a farm and then was in the CCC.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 16, 1943, with the 17th Airborne Division, taking his basic training at Camp Mackall where he spent six months before being given furlough.  After his furlough, he was transferred to Camp Forrest, Tennessee on maneuvers. He was a “first class gliderman.”  In April of 1944, he was given another furlough, which he spent with his parents. In August 1944, he was sent overseas for combat duty.  Trained in England, his division then went into action against the enemy, and they saw combat in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and then Germany. 

Pfc. Robert Black was a truck driver in the first platoon and, on the day of his death, was taking part in an airborne invasion of Germany.  Coming over the landing zone, his glider was struck by flak and he crashed into the woods.  His body was recovered immediately and prepared for burial in the American Cemetery in Margaten, Holland. He is buried at Plot G, Row 21, Grave 22. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Bob was a loveable son and brother, happy by nature and never complained about the hardships he had to endure; Bob had said once in a letter home, “It could have been worse.”

This entry is respectfully submitted by Donnie Hamiel and Kyle Willis, juniors at Lyman High School in Presho, South Dakota, April 1, 2002. Information for this entry was sent by Barbara Speck, his niece, by the Rapid City Journal, by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus payment, and by Marjo Crain, Brookings, SD.