Robert H. Boehlke

Word has been received by Mrs. Robert H. Boehlke that her husband, Staff Sergeant R. H. Boehlke has arrived safely overseas—destination unknown. 

Staff Sergeant Boehlke is a waist gunner on a Flying Fortress  (B 17). 

He entered the service on July 28, 1942 and received his training at various Army camps, including: Jefferson Barracks, MO; Las Vegas, NV; Gieger Field, WA; and Wendover, UT. 

In October of 1942, he was graduated from Las Vegas Army Gunnery School, receiving his Sergeant rating and his silver wings. He is a brother of Private First Class Norman Boehlke of the Marines, killed in action at Guadalcanal.

Gunner Home on Furlough After 50 Combat Raids
Staff Sergeant Robert H. Boehlke is home on furlough from North Africa, after completing 50 bombing missions, including 362 combat hours in the Mediterranean area.

Sergeant Boehlke, waist gunner on a U.S. Flying Fortress, has taken part  in raids on Sicily, Italy, Greece, Austria, France, and Germany. 

For achievements in line of duty, he has been awarded the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters, two campaign ribbons, and a Good Conduct Medal.

Sergeant Boehlke is visiting his wife and month-old baby and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry O. Boehlke, 616 Whipple Street. 

He entered service July 28, 1942, and was graduated from the Las Vegas Gunnery School.  

His brother, Private First Class Norman Boehlke, a Marine, was killed to action on Guadalcanal.

S/Sgt. Boehlke at Miami Beach for Assignment
MIAMI BEACH, FL—Staff Sergeant Robert H. Boehlke of Eau Claire, WI, recently returned from service outside the continental United States, now is being processed through the Army Air Forces Redistribution Station No. 2 in Miami Beach, where his next assignment will be recommended. 

This is one of the redistribution stations within the command of the Army Air Forces Redistribution Center. At an Army Air Forces redistribution station, Army Air Forces returnees from theaters of operation are examined by specially selected medical and classification officers, whose joint findings are used in determining new assignments. The theme of the Army Air Forces Redistribution program is designation of each man to duty for which he is best-fitted and, if possible, to duty for which he desires. Returnees live at a redistribution station under conditions that encourage natural response to processing; a majority of their two-week stay is devoted  to rest and recreation. 

Army Air Forces personnel, including enlisted men and officers alike, are assigned to a redistribution station upon their return to the United States, but do not report to the station until completing a furlough or leave of approximately three weeks.  

Sergeant Boehlke, age 23, is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Boehlke of 616 Whipple Street, Eau Claire. His wife is also a resident of this city. 

He entered the Army in July 1942. As a B-17 Flying Fortress gunner, he flew 50 missions in North Africa, was once shot down at sea, and was awarded the Air  Medal and nine clusters.

Staff Sergeant Robert H. Boehlke, 1515 Birch Street, who recently qualified for Air Crew Pre-Aviation Cadet training, has been transferred from Army Air Forces Redistribution Station No. 2, Miami Beach, to Headquarters Army Air Forces Training Center No. 1, also at Miami Beach, for subsequent appointment as Aviation Cadet.

Staff Sergeant Boehlke, a 23-year-old B-17 aerial gunner, recently returned from the North African Theater, where he flew 50 combat missions and won the Air Medal ten times. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Seven R. Boehlke, 616 Whipple Street, he entered the Army on July 28, 1942. His wife, Lucille Boehlke, resides at 1515 Birch, Eau Claire.

Veteran Turret Gunner Now in Cadet Training
AVIATION CADET CENTER, San Antonio, TX —Aviation Cadet Robert H. Boehlke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry O. Boehlke, 616 Whipple Street, has two scores to settle with the Axis. The Nazis shot him down over Italy and the Japs killed his brother on Guadalcanal. 

Boehlke is in pre-f light pilot training here. His brother, a Marine, Private First Class Norman Boehlke, was killed in October 1942. 

"I'm hoping to pilot my own fighter against the Japs to pay up for that," he said. "There's a little deal I've chalked up against Hitler, too. It happened in Italy. 

"We were going in for the bomb run on the rail yards at Bologna, Italy, when we were hit—two engines caught fire. We hadn't even made the run, and we were stuck with six 1,000-pound bombs.

"We didn't want to waste the bombs, even though we were losing altitude fast, so we struck off down the coastline and dumped them on the first thing we saw that looked like it might be valuable—a railroad siding near Florence. 

"Our radio was shot out and our fuel lines were shattered. The pilot gave us our choice of bailing out or trying to make Sardinia, about 50 miles off. We chose Sardinia and struck out over the Mediterranean. 

"But we didn't make it — we crashed in the drink about 400 yards off the shore, with a mob of Italians and GIs waving at us. They put out in boats. Our lifeboats had been shot up, too, and were useless. We had to swim in our Mae Wests."

The Italian commander of the garrison turned his own personal quarters over to the crew, Boehlke said, and then arranged for trucks to take them over the mountains to their air base. 

Boehlke enlisted July 28, 1942. He has 462 combat hours to his credit as a turret gunner over Italy, Sicily, Greece, Germany, France, Austria and Sardinia. He wears the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters.

Robert H. Boehlke, 1515 Birch Street; John W. Carney, 844 Second Avenue; Eugene Carl Ellingson, 808 Market Street; and Malcolm H. Croll, 408 1/2 Dodge Street are at the San Antonio, Texas Aviation Cadet Center, receiving pre-flight training.

Aviation Student Robert H. Boehlke spent the Christmas holidays visiting his wife, Lucille, and son at 1515 Birch Street.  He has returned to San Antonio, Texas, where he enters the primary class of cadet training.