Robert was inducted on Febuary 8, 1944 after completing one year at the University of Michigan School of Engineering. He turned down the second deferment because he wanted to be part of the war effort. He started oun in the ASTP program which made him happy because he thought he could continue his education.
After two weeks, he was headed for basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was assigned to the 95th Infantry Division. the 95th was used as a replacement pool for other Divisions that experienced large numbers of casualties. On August 9, 1944 he was on an unescorted ship, the USS West Point, headed for Liverpool. The ship was too fast for the U-Boats.
After three weeks in England, the 95th was sent to Omaha Beach where it joined the 3rd Army under General George Patton. His outfit captured the major city of Metz, taking major casualties. He then transferred to the 9th Army for the drive on the Rhine River. Although the worst fighting was over, "mopping up" operations took many lives.
He returned to the United States for a thirty day furlough prior to being sent to amphibious training for the invasion of Japan called "Operation Coronet." Of the original 44 men in his platoon, he was one of six who came through uninjured. He experienced the fear of combat and he wondered if he would make it to see his parents again. Although not wounded, he did spend 27 months in hospitals because of service connected TB.
The morality of using the "BOMB" stirred up much controversy, he firmly believes that without it, he wouldn't be here today.
The 95th has had reunions since 1950, being deactivated right after the War, with diminishing numbers. Last year alone 99 members died. With service time, hospitalizations and reduced workloads, it took Robert ten years to finish college.