Robert P. Knobel

Gunner Missing in Action

Staff Sergeant Robert P. Knobel, 21, has been missing in action over France since June 22, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. P.R. Knobel of St. Paul, formerly of Altoona.

Sergeant Knobel enlisted in the Air Corps on November 17, 1942 and received his training at Miami Beach, FL; Amarillo, TX; Burbank, CA; Kingman, AZ; and Ardmore, OK.  He was a turret gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress and had been in England since May of this year.

He was born and raised in Altoona and attended Eau Claire State Teachers College prior to entering the service.  

Eau Claire Fliers Coming Home After Being Liberated
Three Eau Claire fliers and a St. Paul sergeant, formerly of Eau Claire, have been liberated from German prisoner of war camps, according to word received by relatives here. 

They are Captain Thomas R. Litchfield, First Lieutenant Frank W. Ristau, Sergeant Robert Field, all of Eau Claire, and Staff Sergeant Robert Knobel, St. Paul, former Eau Claire resident. 

Captain Litchfield is the son of Mr. and Mrs. T. R. Litchfield, 1411 South Farwell Street. His wife, Harriett, and two-year-old daughter are residing at St. Charles, MN at present. She received a cablegram Tuesday, saying he was safe and well and would return soon. The Captain had over 50 missions completed when he was reported missing over Germany on July 31, 1944, while flying a fighter plane. He was commissioned on July 3, 1942 and went overseas in March 1944. He holds the Air Medal with two Silver and two Bronze Clusters.  

First Lieutenant Ristau is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Ristau, Sr., 329 Babcock Street. They received a  telegram from the Adjutant General's Office, stating that he was returned to military control on April 29, 1945. He became a prisoner of the Nazis after be was shot down over France on July 18, 1944 and was at Stalag Luft 3. He was on reconnaissance patrol when reported missing. Commissioned in August 1943, he went overseas in December 1943.

Sergeant Field, radio-gunner on a bomber, is the son of  Andrew Field, 627 Fifth Avenue. He was reported missing over Germany on April 22, 1944, while on a mission from Italy. A cablegram received by his parents Tuesday said that he is well and will be home soon. He entered the service in August 1942 and went overseas in January 1944.

Staff Sergeant Knobel, son of Mr. and Mrs. P. R. Knobel of St. Paul,  former residents here, has been liberated by the British. He was in Brussels at the time he wrote the letter, telling his friends and parents he had been freed. The Sergeant has been a prisoner of the Germans at Stalag Luft 4 since June 22, 1944.