Bob Copeland of Lewiston Idaho

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    HE FLEW A 29

    He flew a 29
    yet a youth
    in his prime.

    Wet behind the ears
    this Idaho youth
    knew no fears.

    Over Kobe Japan
    one March night
    his ship fell to land.

    Still buckled in his seat
    POW's found him dead
    his God he did meet.

    What a price to pay
    for one so young
    who fell from the sky that day!

    Bob Copeland was his name
    of Lewiston Idaho
    young B-29 pilot fame!

    ┬ęCopyright February 23, 2006 by C. Douglas Caffey

    Lt. Robert E. Copeland's War Diary
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    St. Bonaventure Monastery
    Capuchin Fathers
    1740 Mt. Elliot Avenue
    Detroit 7, Mich.

    Nov. 7th 1945

    Dear Mrs. Copeland

    I am a Franciscan Capuchin Missionary Priest - taken on Guam by the Japanese - and was interned nearly four years in Kobe, Japan.

    The B-29 in which your son, Lt. Robert E. Copeland, lost his life was body-crashed by a Jap plane immediately over our prison camp two miles back of Kobe at about 4 AM on March 17th of this year, during the first big raid on Kobe.

    I am fairly certain that your son was one of the five killed instantly when the tail-assembly fell (at the body-crash) on a ridge behind our camp. Sgt. David W. Kelley was also one of those five. Only two men survived the crash. Lt. Robert W. Nelson and S/Sgt. Algy S. Augunas - and I hope they are now home.

    When the Jap soldiers failed to bury the bodies we internees secretly buried them, and later erected crosses with their names - and marked the spots clearly. Rest assured that we Fathers in camp prayed at the graves and also in our masses for the men.

    One of the internees most active in learning all details about the crash is Mr. Harold E. Brinkerhoff (of California) - but I cannot remember his address. I began a letter to you about three weeks ago, but waited to see if I could obtain Mr. Brinkerhoff's address.

    Please accept my sympathy at your great loss. These men were real heroes and they helped save many lives - Although the lost their own. Shall let you know if I learn more.

    May God grant your son eternal rest!

    Sincerely yours,

    Fr. Marcian Pellet

    O.F.M. Cap

    P.S. Fr. Alvin says that he buried Robert's body, and that it had fallen after the tail assembly. He says that Robert's body was in fine condition and that his grave was well taken care of.

    Fr. Marcian P.

    Lt. Robert E. Copeland

    Back row L to R:
    Maj Robert Fitzgerald Commander KIA
    2/Lt Robert Copeland Pilot KIA
    2/Lt Robert Nelson Navigator (POW and murdered by the Japanese captors)
    2/Lt Erwin Brousek Bombardier KIA
    2/Lt. James Bond(not 007) KIA

    Front row L to R:
    S/sgt Robert Cookson Radar KIA
    Sgt David Holley Right Gunner KIA
    Sgt Ruben Wray Tail Gunner KIA
    S/sgt Algy Augunas Radio(POW and murdered by the Japanese captors)
    Sgt John Barry Left Gunner KIA
    Sgt John Cutler Central Fire Control (CFC) KIA

    * A note about the plane ... it was named St. Bernard. because it escorted a crippled B-29 back on all of it's successful missions. No nose art
  3. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    A sad thread, Annie, but well done to the internees for having the commitment and bravery to do what they did. They risked their own lives to honour the dead.

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