O’SHEA, ROBERT HENRY, First Lieutenant, # 0-808580, USAAF
Robert H. O’Shea was born on 24 March 1920 in East Hampton, Massachusetts to Daniel Joseph O’Shea (1878-1952) (Mass.) and Delia M. O’Shea (1883-1974) (Canada). Siblings included Margaret E. (Chartier) O’Shea (1903- ), Evelyn (O'Shea) Williams (1911-1984), Joseph M. O’Shea (1914-1998), Daniel Timothy O’Shea (1916-2013), John Lawrence O’Shea (1922-1997), Virginia Mary O’Shea (1927- ). On 20 July 1943, he married Ruth Ann (Runnels) Hittinger nee O’Shea (1922-1987), in Indiana, daughter of USAAF Colonel (Physician & Surgeon) Scott Clark (1982-1950 - IN) & Lola Grace (Nash) (1884-1981 - TX) Runnels, Williamsburg, Virginia.
He enlisted on 1 May 1942, # 11069182, and served as enlisted through 27 July 1943. He was accepted as an aviation cadet and trained to pilot the new B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and pilot wings. On 26 June 1944, a B-29, #42-6323, nicknamed “Eileen,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, crashed on takeoff from the airfield at Chabua, India. The aircraft was a total loss and all of the crew were killed. Some were deemed “killed during an operational flight.” Once the crew remains were recovered, they were buried in the airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India. After his remains were recovered from India, the remains were buried in the Saint Mary Cemetery, Northampton, Massachusetts.
His brother, Daniel T. O’Shea, born 11 November 1916, served during WW II as a pilot of the C-47 Gooney Bird and the C-133 Cargomaster and eventually retired from the U.S. Air Force. He served from 10 May 1943 to 30 June 1965. He died 4 October 2013 and is buried in the Saint Mary Cemetery, Northampton, Massachusetts.
His brother, John L. O’Shea, born 6 July 1922, served in the U.S. Army from 2 January 1943 to 31 August 1945. He died on 2 March 1997 in Springfield, Missouri.