CONNOLLY, ROBERT C., Staff Sergeant, # 16084426, USAAF
Robert C. Connolly was born in 1918 in Newbury, Michigan, to Michael Cornelius Connolly (1885-1960) and Eva R. (Pineault) Connolly (1892-1966) (married 17 August 1914, Champion, Marquette Co., Mich.). Siblings included Paul Joseph Connolly (1915-1998), Mary Helen (Connolly) Baltz (1922-1999), Margaret J. (Connolly) Larson (1924-2006), and David J. Connolly (March, 1930- ). In 1930, the family lived at 920 Stockbridge Ave., Iron Mountain, Michigan. His father was a civil engineer and then the engineer-manager of the county road commission. In 1942, the family lived at 413 West A St., Iron Mountain, Michigan. He was married to Ailsa M. (Robinson) Simonson nee Connolly (1922-1994) on 3 December 1942 at Homestead airfield, Dade Co., Florida, by USAAF Chaplain 1st Lt. William G. Woods.
He was drafted 7 June 1941. On 23 January 1944, B-24J, # 42-73067 (“Rangoon Rosie”), departed Madhaigunj, India, on a bombing mission to Mergui, Malayan Peninsula. It was assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 436th Bomb Squadron. It was seen to crash at about 1610 hours at 12º30’ North - 95º 30’ East, in Malaya, shot down by enemy aircraft. It was noted to be a battle casualty. Its crew were killed in action, except TSgt Grant L. Butcher, who was wounded and captured by the Japanese. A Graves Registration team recovered remains from where crew was buried. Unable to distinguish the remains, they were buried in a single casket group burial in Arlington National Cemetery 25 July 1949, Section 34, grave 5023. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and the Purple Heart.