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Captain Robert D. Conrad Pilot 344th BG 494th BS

This entry is based upon the large amount of material from Sarah Van Riper, daughter of Robert D, Conrad. Any of the photos/documents below will enlarge if you click on them.

Bob Conrad smallCaptain Robert D. Conrad was a pilot with the 344th BG 494th BS. His 41 missions in the ETO started 1/21/45 through the end of the war 4/25/45.

Bio:  He was born on May 13, 1924. When he became 1st Lieutenant, he was the youngest 1st Lieutenant in the Army Air Corp at that time.  This log was in his Father’s (Jack Conrad) handwriting.  It appears his Dad kept track of his son’s locations as he trained to become a pilot and eventually returned home.  Note: May 19, 1943 says “classification.” Perhaps that was when he became 1st Lieutenant just a few days after turning 19 years old.  Notice on DECEMBER 7, 1944, exactly 3 years after Pearl Harbor, Conrad’s Dad received a V-Mail that stated that Robert Conrad has arrived in England after flying his plane over via Northern Route. Click to see a map of this route and his route home.Ticket East smallThe following is Robert Conrad’s Mission Log followed by his Mission Notes. A significant event happened on February 6, 1944 that is not mentioned below. Please click to learn about what happened.Mission List_0001 smallMission List_0002 small

Piecing together a timeline from random documents is difficult but a good begining would be to look at Conrad’s enlistment confirmation into the Army Air Forces Enlisted Reserve Corps.

Enlistment Letter smallAfter enlisting, Conrad attended basic training and several schools to prepare to be a pilot. The following albums were not all dated so I am guessing at their sequence. I believe basic training is depicted in the following set of photos.

 

In September of 1943 Robert Conrad went to flight school in Tulsa, Ok. Here are some great pictures from that experience.

In August 1944, Robert Conrad visited his family in Omaha. Fortunately they took the time to take pictures!

Conrad took/acquired some pictures of B-26s in action. Also a picture with his navigator and crew.

The Conrad family includes some talented poets. The poems give an interesting perspective about the moment in a life and of the war.

Robert Conrad liked to draw cartoons when he had a chance.

Finally it was time to return to the states. This time Conrad took the Northern Route.

Ticket Home smallRobert D Conrad left the military after the end of the war and received a Geology degree from Stanford on the GI bill.  He worked for Conoco most of his career. He married a “Rosie the Riviter”, Margaret Wallace Conrad after meeting her at Stanford as the cafeteria check-out girl.  She was on a full military scholarship for physical therapy to treat the wounded veterans coming back from war.  During the war, she was at studying at Stanford and riveting air planes on the night shift in San Francisco.

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