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