MARQUETTE, Mich. - Robert Elvin Swanson, age 91, born May 3, 1921, passed on January 5, 2013 at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care in Marquette, MI.
Predeceased by his brother Lowell Swanson and is survived by his sister Lois Swanson of Rochester Hills, MI, and nephews, Keith and Robert Swanson, and nieces Lynn Hill and Ann Swanson.
Robert Elvin Swanson entered active service in the U.S. Army Air Corps on December 30, 1942. After basic training he was assigned to Radio Operator School in Chicago, IL, followed by Aerial Gunnery school in Kingman, AZ. He was then assigned to a B-17 squadron.
Robert E. Swanson
Combat Training continued until their departure for northern Africa on May 1, 1944. They arrived on May 11th and began flying their missions. The official names of their assignments were the Air Offensive Europe, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Northern France and Air Combat Balkans. They accumulated their 50 mission credit in just a few months and were sent back to the U.S., leaving on November 9, 1944 and arriving home on December 15, 1944. They were assigned to a training command.
As a member of the 15th Air Force, Tech Sgt. Swanson earned and received the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. These medals were worn below his Air Crew Member wings. He also qualified as a Sharpshooter with the carbine rifle and a Marksman with the 45 cal. pistol.
Robert Swanson was honorably discharge on October 25, 1945.
After he returned from the service, he worked around Ishpeming for a short while, then moved to Lyons, Illinois, near Chicago. He worked for a lumber company for many years before retiring and moving to St. Petersburg, Florida. Coming out of retirement he went to work for the city in St. Pete and learned to operate one of the local draw-bridges. He worked at this occupation for another 10 years then returned to Ishpeming in 1998. He moved to Marquette in 2009 were he enjoyed taking long walks and visits from his downstate relatives.
Robert's obituary may be viewed at www.bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.