In Memory of
Army Air Corps Lieutenant
Robert Curdy Andrus
Aberdeen, South Dakota
January 1, 1916 - June 26, 1944
Killed in Action over Vienna, Austria
Robert Curdy Andrus was
born in Aberdeen, South Dakota on January 1, 1916 to Henry and Amelia Andrus.
Robert has two brothers, Wilbur and Milton. He attended Aberdeen Central High
School and graduated in 1932 at the age of 16. While at Central, he was
prominent in track, student council, and participated in the drama club. He
attended Northern State Teachers College for two years and then the University
of South Dakota for one year where he majored in journalism. From there he went
to the University of Minnesota where he graduated in 1937.
He directly went from
school to work for the Sun-Advocate newspaper in Price, Utah. He then
went on to enter the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1941. While in
Washington, DC, he took advanced work at George Washington University. He never
married and had no children.
Robert asked special
permission of the Price Utah Draft Board to have his enlistment sent ahead and
entered service in 1941, at which time he was attached to the Signal Corps.
After several months he transferred to the Air Corps. He took basic training at
Camp Roberts, California and completed his training at Ryan Field, Arizona in
October 1943 where he was commissioned a second lieutenant on October 2, 1943.
The following February he was sent overseas.
His unit landed in Europe
on February 4, 1944 where they flew missions over Italy, Austria, Bulgaria,
France, Romania, and Hungary. On April 29, 1944, his plane was shot down over
Toulon, France. The crew managed to survive and reach safety in Spain but
Robert was reported missing. The Andrusí received notification that Robert had
been returned to duty after being found.
On June 26, 1944, Robertís
plane went down 18 miles North of Vienna, Austria. All of the crew, except
Robert, landed safely or were taken prisoner. The complete circumstances of
Robertís death are not known. His grave was located in a civilian cemetery at
Puchberg, Austria. Later the body was sent back to be buried in the United
This entry was respectfully submitted by
Courtney Pray and Shannon Daly, Honors U.S. History, Groton High School, Groton,
SD, April 21, 2002. Information for this entry was provided by the Aberdeen
American News 7/3/45 issue