Robert Vernon Lockhart, Jr. 0791784

1st Lt. U.S. Army Air Forces

Born: Oct. 31, 1918 in Monroe, N.C.

Killed: Oct 29, 1943 at Dobudura, New Guinea

Son of Robert Vernon Lockhart, Sr. and his wife, Araminta Robinson Lockhart


Purple Heart, Air Medal, Oakleaf Cluster, Asiatic-Pacific Service Ribbon with Silver Campaign Star (which represents five major campaigns), American Theater Service Ribbon, Distinguished Unit Badge, World War II Victory Ribbon, Cross of Military Service.

Robert was reared in Monroe. Early in life he joined the 1st Presbyterian Church, was awarded a Testament for repeating the catachism, and pens for three years perfect attendance at Sunday School. He belonged to the Boy Scouts and the school band.

He graduated at Monroe High School and State College in Raleigh. At college he was a member of the Gambda Chi Alfha Fraternity.

Soon after graduating Robert volunteered in the Army Air Corps, was called to active duty Nov. 5th, 1941 (Before Pearl Harbor). He received his training at the following places: Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Ala. from Nov. 5th, 1941 to Dec. 15, 1941; Greenville Aviation School, Oscala, Florida until Feb. 19, 1942; Turner Field, Albany, Ga. to Aug. 10, 1942.

On July 3rd, 1942 his "Wings" were pinned on him at the hospital where he was sick with pneumonia.

On Aug. 1st, 1942 he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenent. On the same day, he and Mary Frances Greyson of Marion, N.C. were married.

On Aug. 13th he lift for the South Pacific Coast. He sailed about Sept. 10th.

He was assigned to the 90th Squadron, 3rd Attack Group, flying a Mitchel Boomer. His group, stationed in New Guinea, were in the thickest of the fight. He participated in 94 Missions, 49 of which were combat missions. So successful had he been through so many dangerous missions that his comrades had affectionately dubbed him "Lucky Lock." He hit such targets at Wewak, Rabaul, Gloucaster, Mandang, and Gasmata.

His 25th operation was action in the Battle of the Bismark Sea, in which he sank an 8000-ton Japanese transport, but while strafing a second vessel, the plane was shot up and had to make a crash landing, and Robert was secerely wounded on March 3, 1943. He was sent to Australia to re-cuperate. He returned to active duty in a month.

On his 95th mission, Oct. 29, 1943 at Dobudura, New Guinea, he was killed in an aiplane crash.

Nov. 14th, 1943, Memorial Services were held in the 1st Presbyterian Church in Monroe for him. Rev. Robert Turner, his pastor, was in charge assisted by Rev. J.H. Armburst, Rev. F.B. Drane and Capt. Teague.

July 4, 1948, he was laid to rest, in the family plot, at Eastview Cemetary, Wadesboro, N.C., with full military honors. Dr. Roy F. Whitley and Dr. E.P. Billups were the officiating clergy.

He is survived by his parents, his wife, a half sister, Mrs. Evelyn Lockhart Austin, and a niece, Selia Ann Austin.

While both were in service the following poem was sent to Robert by his cousin, P.F.C. Robinson Dove.

"Here’s to you, Bob, you Flying Ace,

I know you will blast that yellow race,

Good Luck to you, when you are on high,

I’m proud of you and those that fly

A toast to you, Lt. Bob

For doing such a splendid job".

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