S1C Robert A. Blair

January 11, 1924–September 11, 1943

Service #: ********
Enlistment Date: January 13, 1941
Enlistment Place: Burlington, Iowa
Component: U S Navy
Residence: ********
Education: ********
Occupation: ********
Marital Status: Single, Without Dependents

Robert Blair Killed in Action

photoWord was received by Mr. and Mrs. M. O. Blair last Wednesday evening from the navy department that their son, Robert, was killed in action in the Atlantic.

The telegram read as follows: "The navy department deeply regrets to inform you that your son, Robert Alan Blair, seaman first class, United States Navy, was killed in action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. The department extends to you its sincerest sympathy in your great loss. On account of existing conditions the body if recovered cannot be returned at present. If further details are received you will be informed. To prevent possible aid to our enemies please do not divulge the name of his ship or station. Signed, Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, chief of naval personnel."

Robert Blair, 20, the eldest son Mr. and Mrs. Blair was born in Morning Sun, on January 11, 1924. He attended the schools of Columbus Junction and was a member of the Methodist church. He enlisted in the navy in January, 1941, and he has been in every major action in the Atlantic war theatre. He was wounded in February, 1942, but returned to duty within a month. He enjoyed a four day furlough with his parents over Easter of this year. In the last letter received by his parents three weeks ago he was then in the Mediterranean area.

Mr. and Mrs. Blair are newcomers to Anamosa making their home here in July. Mr. Blair is a guard at the Reformatory. Another son, Dean, is a sophomore in Anamosa high school.

Robert Blair is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. R. S. McDaniel of Oakdale, former Anamosa residents.

Source: Anamosa Eureka, Anamosa, Iowa, September 23, 1943
See also: Find A Grave Memorial Page.


USS Savannah is hit by a German Fritz-X radio-controlled bomb, while supporting Allied forces ashore during the Salerno operation, 11 September 1943.

R. A. Blair Rites Held In Kentucky

The body of S 1/C Robert Alan Blair, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. O. Blair of Anamosa, was returned from Nettuno, Italy to the United States in November, 1949, and taken to the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Ky., where a military service was held January 25, 1950.

The bodies of eleven young men who, with young Blair, lost their lives on the U.S.S. Savannah, near Salerno, Italy on September 11, 1943 were returned to Louisville for burial.

The rites for eleven of the men of three faiths were given by Chaplains of the Fort Knox Army Post. A memorial was given for the twelfth body, an unknown seaman.

Robert Alan Blair was born in Morning Sun, Iowa, January 11, 1024 and soon afterward moved with his parents to Columbus Jct., Iowa. He enlisted in the United States Navy on January 13, 1941.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. O. Blair, one brother, Dean; his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. R. S. McDaniel, all of Anamosa; and by his paternal grandmother, Mrs. J. A. Mulhern of Columbus Junction. Mr. and Mrs. Blair and son, Dean, and Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Fisher of Columbus Junction drove to Louisville for the service.

Source: The Anamosa Eureka, Anamosa, Iowa, February 23, 1950
Note: Plot E, 232-235.