Robert Rockefeller was born on 6/2/1922 in Hamilton, Montana to Augusta and Charles Wesley Rockefeller. A year later his family moved to Jersey City, NJ so that Robert’s father could be treated for medical problems caused by his experience in World War One on the Troop Ship Leviathan. His father died in a Veteran’s Hospital in the Bronx and his mother married five years later and moved to West Englewood, NJ.
Robert attended Dickenson High School and later Teaneck High School. He was described in his High School Yearbook (1940) as being amusing and carefree. His ambition was to enter the field of commercial aviation. Robert was a member of the School’s cheerleading squad.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 6/1/40: receiving training at Michael Field in Hempstead, NY and at Langley Field, VA. He studied aerial photography in Denver, CO and graduated there from the Air Corps School in December of 1941. Robert served in Headquarters Squadron 22nd Bomber Group and he attained the rank of Corporal.
On 6/9/42, while serving as an aerial gunner on a B-26 Bomber on a mission to bomb Japanese forces occupying airfields at Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea; he was killed in action when his plane was shot down by a Japanese fighter plane over Nassau Bay off of Salamaua, Papua, New Guinea.
Corporal Rockefeller was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the Air Medal. This valiant young man is buried at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manilla, Phillippines.
High School Yearbook
Te-Hi News (Teaneck High School Newspaper)
- Robert Allen Rockefeller - Timeline
- Robert Allen Rockefeller - Photo
- 1920 United States Federal Census for Wesley Rockefeller (father)
- Idaho, Marriage Index, 1842-1964, 1975-1996 (parents)
- 1940 United States Federal Census
- U. S. WWII Military Personnel Missing In Action or Lost At Sea, 1941-1946
- World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas
American Battle Monuments Commission
fold3.com (Historical Military Records)
National World War II Memorial, Wash., D.C. Website
- Robert A. Rockefeller - Enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was assigned to the Southwest Pacific Theatres of Operation. Fifth Air Force, 22nd Bomb Group (Medium), Headquarters Squadron, Stationed at Garbutt Aerodrome near Townsville in Queensland, Australia. After a refueling stop at "7-mile strip" north of Port Moresby on June 9, 1942, he flew in the aerial gunner position abroad a Martin B-26 Marauder nicknames "The Virginian" (Tail #40-1508). His aircraft was one of eleven B-26 bombers joining a bomb group formation of B-25 and B-17 aircraft on a mission to bombard Japanese forces occupying the airfields at Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. They were attacked by a band of 20 Japanese "Zero" finghter planes, with "The Virginian" being shot down over Nassau Bay approximately 30 miles south of Salamaua, resulting the loss of all onboard. - Sam E. Pennartz
Find A Grave Website