Iowa State Memorial Union

Robert Alexander - 1st Lieutenant

Rank: 1st Lieutenant
Date Of Birth: : Jan 12, 1921
Date Of Death: Sep 30, 1943
War / Conflict: World War II
Hometown: Davenport, Iowa
Gold Star Hall - Wall Location: West Wall (by Entrance Door)

Biography

First Lieutenant Robert Austin Alexander was born January 12, 1921 to Robert Alexander and Joanna Lamp. He grew up in Davenport, Iowa.

Robert went to Iowa State College as part of the class of 1943, but instead of graduating he went into the service. He entered training at Fairfax Field in Kansas City, Kansas on April 20, 1942. The United States Marine Air Corps Reserve promoted him to Second Lieutenant on December 29, 1942, while stationed at Jacksonville, Florida. He made First Lieutenant on June 2, 1943. 

He posthumously received the Air Medal and the following citation on June 21, 1944:

CITATION: For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as wingman of Marine Fighting Squadron TWO FOURTEEN during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area, September 21-30, 1943. Acting as escort to bombers on a strike mission over Ballale on September 16, First Lieutenant Alexander daringly engaged a numerically superior force of Japanese fighters and, pressing home his attack with skill and determination, destroyed one hostile Zero. On September 23, when his motor failed during a strike over Kahili, he brought his crippled plane back to Vella LeVella and, in order to avoid equipment and personnel on the field, guided his damaged craft to the side of the runway and crash-landed without injury. On September 30, while on patrol over Kolombangara, First Lieutenant Alexander lost his life when his plane crashed. His outstanding flying ability and courageous devotion to duty throughout many hazardous missions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. 

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