Robert Rosenthal (USAF officer)

Robert Rosenthal (USAF Officer)

Robert Rosenthal (USAF officer)

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Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal (June 11, 1917 - April 20, 2007) was a highly-decorated pilot in the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces in World War II, receiving sixteen awards including the Distinguished Service Cross for "extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against the enemy," the Silver Star (with cluster) for "gallantry in action," the Distinguished Flying Cross (with cluster) for "heroism or extraordinary achievement during aerial flight," the Air Medal (with seven clusters) and the Purple Heart (with cluster), as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross from Great Britain and the Croix de Guerre from France. Intelligence Officer Marvin Bowman is quoted describing Rosenthal as "one of the great figures of the Air Force; a shy, modest, and patriotic gentleman of truly amazing courage and achievement."

Rosenthal was a graduate of Brooklyn College and Brooklyn Law School, and had been working at a law firm in Manhattan when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor. He enlisted in the United States Army on December 8, 1941 and requested to be trained for combat. In August 1943 he joined the 418th Squadron of the 100th Bombardment Group, stationed at Thorpe Abbotts in England, as a pilot and aircraft commander of a B-17 Flying Fortress crew. In March 1944, Rosenthal's crew, nicknamed "Rosie's Riveters", with their B-17F, serial number 42-30758 bearing...
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