Robert Nelson - 1st Lieutenant
Year at ISU: 1940
First Lieutenant Robert Johns Nelson was born in Pontiac, Michigan on August 24, 1916. He later lived in Red Oak, Iowa. His parents were Laurence A. Nelson and Gladys Johns.
Robert graduated from Red Oak schools and attended Iowa State for three years before serving in the merchant marines for a year before transferring to the United State Marine Corps on January 16, 1942 in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his commission as a pilot on November 10, 1942 in Jacksonville, Florida. He became first lieutenant on May 31, 1943 at Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he was an instructor for the Marine Air Corps station there.
He was one of six marines killed when their plane exploded at Cherry Point as they prepared to take off November 1, 1943.