Robert Bass - Master Sergeant
Year at ISU: 1944 - Civil Engineering
Master Technical Sergeant Robert L. Bass was born to Vallie L. Bass and Frances Anderson in Stratford, Iowa on September 27, 1921, but grew up in Correctionville, Iowa. He left Iowa State College to enter the Marine Corps on January 20, 1942 in San Diego. He became a radio technician.
Robert made corporal on September 25, 1942, sergeant that November, technical sergeant in 1943, and finally becoming Master Technical Sergeant in March of 1944.
Robert died, along with over 800 crewmates, aboard the U.S.S. Franklin on March 19, 1945. The Franklin (nicknamed "Big Ben" and later "the ship that wouldn't die") had come within 50 miles of the coast of Japan, the closest any U.S. carrier had been to that point in the war, when a Japanese dive-bomber attacked, severely crippling the carrier. The Franklin became the most heavily damaged US carrier to survive the war.