ROBERTSON, LANCER WILLIAM, First Lieutenant, # 0-727076, USAAF
Lancer W. Robertson was born 14 September 1916 in Malta, Phillips County, Montana, to William Ferguson Robertson (1888-1968) and Lula B. (Compton) Robertson (1886-1972). Siblings included Russell Lee Robertson (1909-1986), Monte Leroy Robertson (1911-1990) Gaylord Duane Robertson (1913-1977), Wanda Lucille Robertson (1922-1979), Carla Genevieve Robertson (1925-2007) and another sister. He attended Willamette University. He married Grace M. Kenny in Malta, Montana, on 22 July 1942. He enlisted in the USAAF on 6 January 1942 in Missoula, Montana, as an aviation cadet with two years of college. He began flight school as a cadet in navigation training at Ellington Field, Texas. He was selected for bombardier school for the B-24 and earned his wings and a commission. He was sent overseas to India. O On 1 December 1943, at about 1230 hours, B-24J, # 42-73159 (“Tough Baba”), assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force base at Pandaveswar, India, enroute to bomb Insein, Burma, where the Japanese maintained a railway marshalling and repair workshops. The statement signed by 2ndLt McElderry, F/O Lewallen and 1stLt Shaw says: Lt. Stringfellow’s plane was the lead ship of the formation. My ship flew on his left wing over the target. After bombs were dropped we lost sight of him. He was next sighted on the right wing of ship # 45. The pass by enemy aircraft was not seen but about 15 minutes from target, white smoke was seen coming from the #3 engine. The right wing of Lt. Stringfellow’s ship dropped and slid off in a banking turn to the right. It continued in the opposite direction of the formation or towards Rangoon, losing about 1,500 feet. Two objects came out of the right waist window, one chute opened immediately, and the other object kept falling and disappeared into clouds. It looked like a delayed jump to evade attacking fighters. Between 8 to 10 enemy fighters started to attack the disabled ship, leaving the main formation of B-24s alone. The tail gunner first sighted the ship going into a tailspin. One chute was opened at this time. The ship was smoking badly and dropped for 3,000 or 6,000 feet before bursting into flames. A few seconds after it had burst into flames, it exploded, leaving only burning fragments. His remains were recovered and were included in a one-casket group burial on 19 December 1949 in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943 for flights over the China-Burma-India theater of operations, His unit received a Presidential Unit Citation.
Monte L. Robertson, born 9 June 1911, enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard, starting as a Private, activated and promoted through to Captain, U.S. Army Signal Corps, with three years of college, beginning on 16 September 1940 in Helena, Montana, and retired 30 June 1961. He died 16 April 1990. Gaylord D. Robertson, born 5 October 1913, enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard, Quartermaster Corps, in Malta, Montana, on 12 April 1940, and was a Sergeant and served in New Guinea, South Pacific. He died 18 August 1977 and is buried in the Ft. Snelling Natl Cemetery. Loy Robertson accepted a civil position with the Women’s Marine Corps and began her training at in New River, North Carolina, and was employed at a Pacific coast embarkation base.
Russell L. Robertson, born 25 June 1909, served in the U.S. Navy, from 29 January 1942 to 18 October 1945, an Electrican’s Mate, # 6121783, and was stationed in Siberia, Russia. He was a Seaman 2nd Class aboard the U.S.S. Triton (Submarine Div. 62) in October 1942. He was a Seaman 1st Class (S1C, V-6) aboard the U.S.S, Tautog (Flagship) in June-August 1943. He was a Seaman 1st Class aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis (CA-53) in January 1944 and aboard the U.S.S. Plunger (CDS-43 Flag) in March 1944, then the U.S.S. Tambor (SS-198) in March 1944 - February 1945. He was a S1C aboard the U.S.S. Greenling (SS-213) in August - October 1945. He died 5 November 1986 and is buried in the Restlawn Memory Gardens, West Salem, Polk Co., Oregon.