2LT Edmund Hunt Roberts, Jr.
Army Air Corps, 7th Air Force, 30th Bomb Group, 27th Bomb Squad
KIA 26 December, 1943
South of Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands
Susan Kent Roberts Chadd
My father was born September 22, 1917, at Cameron, a mill and farm near
Alexandria, Virginia. He grew up loving to hunt and fish, especially to
fish. He was the oldest of four brothers and two sisters. After high
school he worked as a bank teller and went to banking school and later law
school at night. When he was drafted in July, 1941, he had taken the bar
exam, but didn't find out until September that he had passed. For a year he
served as an army cook and baker in Georgia. In August, 1942, while home on
a short leave, he married my mother, someone he'd known all her life, his
younger sister's best friend, "the girl next door".
Meanwhile he had applied to the Air Corps and in September of 1942, went to
Santa Ana, CA, to begin training, then to Visalia, CA, for primary training,
and to Merced in January, 1943. In the middle of March, 1943, my mother
flew back to Virginia because I was due in May, and my father was going to
Douglas AFB, AZ, for advanced training. He received his wings there and
went to March Field. In August, my mother took me on the train west across
the country to see him -- not knowing he would soon receive orders to ship
out. His crew left on September 26, 1943, for Hawaii. From there they flew
to the Ellice Islands (Nanomea), and began bombing missions in B-24's up to
the Marshall Islands and back--the longest bombing runs of the war -- unescorted.
Edmund's plane, the Dashin' Daisy, was hit by zeros after bombing Wotje Atoll,
about 30 miles out after turning for home, on December 26, 1943. It exploded,
burned, and crashed into the Pacific. I owe my life to him, and I have a very
good life, but at a terrible cost.
When I was told as a young child that my father was "lost in the war" I
hoped that he would "be found" somehow on a Pacific atoll that had just been
overlooked. In a wonderful way, though, I have found him in the collective
memory of AWON. Thank you, Anne Mix.
In memory of the crew of the Dashin' Daisy, LTS Griffin, Juergens,
Pullman, and Roberts, and SGTS Davis, Mandle, Reb, Serratore, and Stull.